YouTube has responded to the allegations that it is intentionally slowing down the performance of its website on browsers other than Chrome. The video-sharing platform said that it is not discriminating against any browser and that the issue is related to the use of ad blockers by some users.
The controversy started when Chris Peterson, a program manager for Mozilla, tweeted that YouTube’s redesign in 2017 relied on a deprecated shadow DOM API that was only implemented in Chrome. This meant that other browsers had to run a slower polyfill, a code that provides a fallback for a missing feature, to render YouTube’s web pages.
Peterson claimed that YouTube was five times slower on Firefox and Edge than on Chrome because of this. He suggested that users could install a browser extension that restored YouTube’s classic design and improved the loading speed.
YouTube’s explanation and the ad blocker issue
YouTube, however, denied that it was intentionally slowing down other browsers. In a statement to The Verge, a YouTube spokesperson said that the shadow DOM API was not a significant factor in the website’s performance and that YouTube had been working to improve the compatibility and speed of its site across all browsers.
The spokesperson also said that some users might experience slower loading times on YouTube because of the ad blockers they were using. According to YouTube, some ad blockers interfere with the website’s code and cause errors that affect the playback of videos.
YouTube said that it was trying to fix these errors and advised users to disable their ad blockers or try YouTube Premium, which offers an ad-free experience.
The impact of YouTube’s performance on users and competitors
YouTube’s performance on different browsers is an important issue for both users and competitors. YouTube is the most popular video-sharing platform in the world, with over 2 billion monthly active users and over 1 billion hours of video watched every day. Users expect a fast and smooth experience when they watch videos on YouTube, regardless of the browser they use.
YouTube’s performance also affects its competitors, such as Vimeo, Dailymotion, and Facebook Watch. These platforms are trying to attract more users and creators by offering better features, quality, and monetization options. If YouTube is perceived as being slower or less compatible on some browsers, it might lose some of its market share and influence to its rivals.