Red ‘Loading Bar’ Appears On Select YouTube Accounts — Is This The End Of Video Buffering?

Back in June, YouTube unveiled plans to eliminate video buffering once and for all with a variety of backend loading techniques. When YouTube showed off the plans to Gizmodo, they estimated that these various techniques would roll out as soon as July 4. Since then, few developments have popped up, until now.

In all honesty we have no idea what this little red bar at the top of YouTube pages really means. However, as YouTube explained in June, one of their techniques to end buffering involved pre-loading backend code and the video player so that only the video itself needed to be loaded. Examining how this red bar — let’s call it a “loading bar” — functions, it seems like this could be the visual cue that runs as new video loads.

Bar001

As you can see in the above video, the actual YouTube page itself no longer turns over; in fact, only the video swaps out as the loading bar reaches the end of its cycle.

Is this the future of video buffering that YouTube was predicting? Clicking through videos we found that load times were significantly faster when this technique was deployed.

The feature, however, doesn’t seem to be available for all users as not everyone in our office is experiencing the same loading bar or near-seamless loading times.

Are you experiencing this new YouTube feature yet? Let us know in the comments below.

 

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  • http://tunechilla.com Jonny

    Basically before the change you loaded the whole site including the YouTube logo, the player, etc. Now you only load the new video and information, but everything else stays. So: less loading, faster experience. But this does of course not mean that video buffering is gone. It is only faster because the player is not loaded again.

    The effect is accomplished using AJAX and the HTML5 history API. You can see the same effect on Facebook, Twitter, Google etc., just without the loading bar.