Some people consider it an epidemic. Despite a very vocal consensus that vertical videos are bad, they still continue to appear on the Internet, a constant reminder that, well, turning your phone horizontally is hard. Hard, I tell you! Or, just maybe, it’s easier to shoot video the way we actually hold our phones.
Until vertical videos are banned for good, a new YouTube tweak for Android is making viewing these videos a little more enjoyable. Rather than presenting footage with obnoxious black bars on either side, videos will now play in portrait when viewed in full screen. An elegant solution for a very serious problem.
The new feature is available in version 10.28 of the YouTube Android app, which should be rolling out to the Google Play store as we speak. It’s unclear when this change is coming to iOS, but hopefully it will soon, because this issue is a matter of life and death.
Some of today’s top social networks—Snapchat, Periscope, Meerkat—embrace vertical videos, and it seems as though YouTube finally is as well. Whether this YouTube update will further spread vertical video syndrome remains to be seen. But at least we no longer have to stare at those awful black bars.