If you’ve noticed YouTube slow to a crawl, you’re not alone.
Can you really say that your browser is faster if you’re purposely slowing performance on competitors browsers? That is the question users should be asking as Mozilla reveals that changes to YouTube have slowed performance on Firefox and Microsoft Edge. Chris Peterson, Technical Program Manager at Mozilla took to Twitter explaining that the cause for the slowdown is due to YouTube’s use of an API that is exclusive to Chrome.
YouTube serves a Shadow DOM polyfill to Firefox and Edge that is, unsurprisingly, slower than Chrome's native implementation. On my laptop, initial page load takes 5 seconds with the polyfill vs 1 without. Subsequent page navigation perf is comparable.
— Chris Peterson (@cpeterso) July 24, 2018
In a following Tweet, Peterson gives workarounds for both Firefox and Edge users.
— Chris Peterson (@cpeterso) July 25, 2018
Google was recently suffered a huge loss in a lawsuit directed at anti-competitive practices in the EU. This has been just the latest in suits about Google’s practices around the world. Given that history, one must really wonder if this is a purposeful decision by Google.
YouTube is a top site and service on the web. You simply can’t ignore it. Did Google actually speed up performance of the service on Chrome? Or did they instead purposely slow completing platforms. In either case, the better experience would be on their own product, which would drive users to use Google’s own browser. Providing a better product is admirable. It is competitive. It is what we all want from companies we use, so that technology will move forward. Purposely hindering the competition? That’s not an admirable proposition, and does nothing to move technology forward.
I’ll be interested to see if Google responds to this information from Mozilla, but am not very hopeful for Google giving an explanation that I’ll feel comfortable with.