YouTube is the most popular destination for sharing and watching videos. Those who are on low-bandwidth connections know that a video can take a lot of time loading, especially if the user wants to watch that video in high quality, like 720p or 1080p. But the problem is, some people are on very slow-internet connections and they can’t even watch video in low quality, and thus they have to patiently wait for the video to load up.
When you watch a video on YouTube, there are many useless elements on the page, like big descriptions, credits, comments, and more. On the right side of the video, you can see a really long list of related videos, which YouTube suggests. All these various elements not only distracts from the video, but also slows down video watching experience.
Enter YouTube Feather, a feature of YouTube that is in Beta stage right now, but it can improve YouTube experience, especially for those who are on slow-bandwidth connections. When you activate or join “Feather” Beta, you’ll be able to see a lightweight version of the video page, which eliminates share button, change player size button, information panel, vote counts, like and dislike counts, and it also removes most of the related videos. Yes, it strips down all these useless items from the page, so that you can have a better video watching experience.
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This is an opt-in beta for “Feather” support on YouTube. The “Feather” project is intended to serve YouTube video watch pages with the lowest latency possible. It achieves this by severely limiting the features available to the viewer, and making use of advanced web techniques for reducing the total amount of bytes downloaded by the browser. It is a work in progress and may not work for all videos.
If this sounds good, then you can join YouTube Feather Beta project. Click on “Join the ‘Feather’ Beta” and then you’ll be able to see the changes on your video page (or refresh the page if these changes are not displayed).
The video will now open in the standard quality, instead of playing to the best available quality. Of course you can also manually lower the video quality, to increase the buffer speed of the video.
If you think that you’re missing those features of YouTube that are removed by the Feather project, then you can easily switch back to regular version of YouTube. In the sidebar you’ll get a small floating blue box, with which you can switch back to the regular video page just temporarily, or if you think that this minimal version of YouTube is not for you, then you can also click on “Permanently” to switch back to the regular video page.
If you think that you need a clean, more lightweight version of YouTube, then you should definitely try this out. With all the bells and whistles gone, the page will load much more quickly than before.