Google Slowed Down YouTube On Non-Chrome Browsers

Google slowed down the performance of YouTube on non-Chrome browsers, Mozilla's technical program manager Chris Peterson said Tuesday, without speculating on the reasons behind the move. According to his own testing, YouTube takes approximately five seconds to load on Firefox, whereas Chrome can have it up and running in roughly a fifth of that time. The performance discrepancy is a result of Google's Polymer redesign of YouTube as the video platform still uses the original version of the JavaScript library relying on "deprecated Shadow DOM v0 API" which is only available in contemporary versions of Chrome, whereas it hasn't been implemented into Mozilla's Firefox or Microsoft's Edge.

Polymer 2.0 and 3.0 are compatible with the API in question but as YouTube still hasn't migrated to them, its performance on non-Chrome browsers remains worse. The Polymer redesign was introduced around a year ago but isn't fully inclusive of all browsers as Google continues to serve the old look to the old Internet Explorer 11 from 2013, meaning it should be able to do the same for Firefox and Edge if it wanted to improve the performance of its service. Mr. Peterson didn't make his remarks in the capacity of a Mozilla official and the software community hasn't publicly responded to the development, much like Google's YouTube.

The Mountain View-based tech giant was hit with a massive $5 billion fine over its abuse of the Android operating system last week, with the European Union issuing the sanction a year after imposing another $2.7 billion penalty on the company due to the monopolistic behavior it exhibited in regards to its shopping comparison service and Google Search. Rivals such as Yelp and Aptoide previously accused Google of anti-competitive behavior, with the EU's antitrust watchdog presently also investigating similar violations related to AdSense, the tech giant's digital advertising platform. It's presently unclear when YouTube is planning to migrate to a newer version of Polymer, an open-source JavaScript library designed for web app development. In the meantime, Firefox users can refer to the banner below to download a plug-in that will improve YouTube's performance by forcing the old version of the service to display.

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Dominik Bosnjak

Head Editor
Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016 and is the Head Editor of the site today. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]