Quick question…

December 4, 2008

Why has YouTube suddenly become so awful? Does anyone know? Search boxes in the embeds…ads popping up while you’re watching something… Have they gone mad? What the hell is going on? (Comments open, because I really want to know)

(Update: Yay! The search box is gone!)


  1. Google paid a ton of money.

    Goggle saw no return for that money.

    Google came up with a half dozen ideas to generate money.

    Current situation.

  2. youtube from it’s founding to this day has never turned a profit.
    I don’t think it feasibly can make a profit.
    It’ll have to be nationalized.

  3. Current situation.

    … profit?

  4. Quick answer:
    It’s a cash cow for Google.

    Switch to Vimeo, or one of the other wannabes.

  5. And me no likey widescreen. I mean, does my showreel look big in this?


    Sorry, does anyone need to borrow a crowbar?

  6. Yes, they have gone mad.

  7. Google want to monetize YouTube as much as possible, and as such, they’ve got to do something to raise the money – if that means that they put a search box on it which then leads to search results, which then leads to Google AdWords – so be it.

    Similar things are going to happen elsewhere…

    And don’t bother switching. You’ll find that eventually the other video sharing sites will do the same, or start charging their users.

  8. Hasn’t YouTube always been awful??

  9. +1 for vimeo

    settings for widescreen YouTube high quality exports if anyone wants them:

    mp4 container
    h.264 codec
    1600kbps min bitrate
    size 864 x 486
    deinterlace video

    160 kbps
    44.1 kHz sample rate

    use MPEG Streamclip (free DL for Mac and PC – http://www.squared5.com/)

  10. Are we talking about content or layout?

    Google Apps (I’m currently the only European “Power Poster” which means I know quite a fair bit about Google Apps) has the ability to upload videos within an organisation (and not share it outside the domain). It’s based on YouTube technology. It has no adverts. It has no search boxes. Depending on the number of user accounts you have, you can have gigabytes of video.

    Downside? You have to pay Google for the privilege at $25 per user, per year. And it’s bloody well worth it.

  11. I believe they’re just trying to “upgrade”. They’ve added “high quality” and widescreen because that used to be one of the main reasons youtube was criticized back in its early days. As for the search embeds, I predict within the next few years, youtube will become flash based, and will integrate comments into the video interface (nico nico douga).

  12. The widescreen is good, but I find that my settings for high quality/normal quality keep getting reset every few weeks which is bloody annoying.

    YouTube IS Flash based, BTW.

    I do like Vimeo, for what it’s worth, but I hate the 500Mb limit. Having trying to encode a 25 minute HD interview I shot, it was a complete bugger to fit the thing into that quota.

  13. Oh, and I HATE the 10 minute limit on YouTube. If you had a Director account, you could upload more than 10 minutes of material. Now EVERYBODY can be a Director, Guru or whatever and there is still the 10 minute limit.


    Actually, my solution now is to shoot, encode the video with a Flash encoder and then use something like JW FLV Media Player (http://www.jeroenwijering.com/?item=JW_FLV_Player).

  14. http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2008/12/youtube-changes.html

  15. It’s all about monetising content for max revenue from the product. I love it but then, I’m a bit of a c*nt.

  16. Ad Mann – are we supposed to take you cliterally?

  17. you can switch off the search in embeds by adding “&showsearch=0″ to the embed code. add it to the end of the two URLs in the code.

    e.g. http://www.youtube.com/v/zl6hNj1uOkY&hl=en&fs=1&showsearch=0

  18. This explains much of what’s going on at Google at the moment:


  19. And this is a good explaination of what’s happening with YouTube:


  20. 1. Buy video sharing website for $1.6 billion
    2. …
    3. Make profit!

    Google are still at …

  21. dariusperkins beat me to it, but

    we haven’t added it to the docs yet since search is so new, but if you set showsearch=0 in the player url it will hide the search box. You can’t hide the url + embed code, but you can hide the related videos by setting rel=0 like dirkwendling said above.

    from http://groups.google.com/group/youtube-api-gdata/browse_thread/thread/41149dc282e33afd?pli=1

  22. They became awful because they are a stinking rotten fetid corporation that is hell bent on making money any way they can.

  23. I’m in two minds about the changes, because advertising revenue sharing could provide an incentive for copyrighted work to be made available in higher quality and legally. On the other-hand it seems a very intrusive way of doing it, and is probably as much about monetisation and aping the competition in a climate of dwindling ad revenues. The searchbox is like Adsense for search, except the person or site displaying the box doesn’t get paid, I suspect that’s why they’ve made it optional for somewhat technical users.

  24. As someone who has been the victim of an intermittent internet connection forever I’ve never enjoyed YouTube as much as I think I should have. In fact it’s the stuff you post here as well as Buxton’s bits and those kinds of things that I tend to persevere with.

    I reckon it’s definitely too much at the moment but it’ll probably get reigned in once the backlash starts. All it will take is someone inventing a wordpress plugin or a wiki version and they’ll start springing up without adverts.

    Then You Tube will change their evil ways…

  25. Most companies are cutting back or finding ways of bringing in more money. As it is, my wife is in danger of being made redundant for the third time in 18 months.

    Google is postively a saint in comparison to say, a travel firm that sounds vaguely like Blast!Bimbette.Bomb.

    I blame Gordon Clown and his fecktwits.

  26. Have a listen to this…


    Talks about the deals YouTube have made with the rights-holders. Listen from 3 minutes to about 10.

  27. Here’s an amusing thing – teddy bears in space! Poor Mat, though, clearly he was NOT loved.


  28. I just noticed the search bar on my blog today! There are so many alternatives to YouTube now that they are trying to make a profit while they still can.

  29. I like the addition to the comments though – the way you can write something about a specific part of the clip, eg “1:29” – click on it, and it will go to that part of the vid. Very nice.
    Aside from that, it’s crap, I agree.

  30. It’s the net version of the BBC interrupting the credits of their programming with info boxes and LOUD voice overs about your “choice of viewing”. As soon as I see a searchlet I close the whole page.

  31. Crowbar you say?


    Merry Christmas.

  32. Hi Graham,

    Unrelated to youtube but just have to say Screenwipe was fantastic. I feel far better about my first drafts now.

  33. Aghhh, Graham! Why did you have to post a picture of Gollum on the Michael Donovan post! My eyes! HIS eyes! Bloomin’ ‘eck!

  34. Thanks, y’all! Now I just have to see whether I can be bothered putting that piece of code in every time I embed a clip…

  35. […] Quick question… Why has YouTube suddenly become so awful? Does anyone know? Search boxes in the embeds…ads popping up while […] […]

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