YouTube’s Evil New Embed Feature

UPDATE: It looks like Whooops! …they changed their minds.

…and by feature, I mean: crapfest.

If you haven’t already noticed, YouTube has added a feature to embedded videos that…well, I’ll let them explain:

“Does watching a YouTube video on another site leave you hungering for more like it? We just turned on a new embedded player with a scroll-through feature that shows related videos to your embeds. It’s fun to play with and lets you discover new, related videos without leaving your site. Just hover over the video after pressing “play” and watch the magic unfold… “

“Magic” indeed…

Here is a video that I posted yesterday so you can see the “magic unfold…” for yourself.

First, you will notice how the new “feature” activates on mouse over. Bad idea. That’s border line pop-up window spam. Second, while the feature has a cool “OSX Dock” look to it – it’s highly intrusive to the video experience. Also, more often than not – the “related” videos are actually not so related. Plus – the whole point of an embed (in a blog at least) is that you are trying to include a specific video that relates directly to your content. Not a whole sting of random content. Furthermore – what if the “related” videos happen to be ones I specifically do not want people to see on my website? What happens when I post a video about Paris, France – and I get a bunch of “related” clips of Ho-bag Hilton?

For example: The following is a clip from the video above. It is a music video of a talented singer/songwriter named Steven Delopoulos. Note that several of the “related” videos really have nothing at all to do with him or anything related:

Evil Embed - not Related

To YouTube’s credit – they added a way to deactivate the feature:

“If for any reason you don’t want this option turned on, you can modify the video URL by attaching a rel=0 parameter to the video. i.e.

The only problem: It doesn’t work on WordPress! And even worse, the new “feature” is activated by default so, even if I could deactivate it – I would have to go through my entire blog and change the code of every single embedded video on my site.

So here’s my suggestion. Most people already know that by clicking on a video, they go to it’s YouTube page where they can see related clips if they want to. That should be adequate. Or maybe make the feature activate only when someone clicks the menu button. What’s wrong with that? Less intrusive – and the user chooses if they want to view related. Or at very least – don’t activate it by default. Let people add it if they wish to.

I admire YouTube’s attempt to innovate. The feature is at least a cool concept. But really – only one thing comes to mind here:

You can leave a comment on their official blog here. Please remember to be nice. People respond to kind suggestions – not off the hinges vicious profanity laden rants.


3 Responses to “YouTube’s Evil New Embed Feature”

  1. wasabo Says:

    Have you realized that this great upgrade doesn’t have full screen option!

  2. What the Crap? YouTube Quietly Reverses Related Video Feature « Says:

    […] Reverses Related Video Feature June 8th, 2007 — whatthecrap? So yesterday you may have read my post about YouTube adding a related video feature that automatically showed up in embedded videos. Well, […]

  3. George Philip Says:

    If it does not work on the WordPress version that you are using (I am using a heavily modded 1.5, it works fine), then here another trick :

    Change the default width & height into something smaller, for example 425 becomes 390. Automagically the ‘related’ stuff does not appear. It worked for me in WP 1.5 standard install, and I am sure it will work for WP 2.x as well.

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