Technology

YouTube’s latest experimental feature lets you zoom in on videos

YouTube is testing a new mobile app feature with its premium subscribers that allows them to zoom in on any video. As noted by 9to5Google, the latest opt-in experimental feature enables a pinch-to-zoom gesture for videos — and it works both in portrait and full-screen landscape view.

According to the company, the zoom feature will remain in testing until September 1st, giving YouTube about a month to gather user feedback and refine things before potentially rolling it out more widely.

You can opt in through the “try new features” section of YouTube’s settings.
Screenshot: Richard Lawler / The Verge

To enable pinch to zoom, open YouTube’s settings menu either on your phone or from the website. As long as you’re subscribed to YouTube Premium, there should be a “try new features” section. Right now, the only feature available for testing is the zoom function. It seems there might be a delay between opting in to the test and actually being able to use the pinch gesture, as I was unable to zoom in closer on any videos immediately after toggling it on. But once it’s active, you should be able to zoom in at up to 8x.

There are already ways to zoom in on YouTube’s content with various accessibility functions on Android and iOS, and obviously it’s very easy to do so in a desktop browser. But having it as an optional native feature in the mobile app is all the more convenient. Last month, YouTube finally delivered picture-in-picture mode for iPhone and iPad after first testing it among premium customers; that hugely useful feature has long been available on Android.

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