YouTube has released a new labs feature, entitled Feather. With this, YouTube strives to stream videos much faster, by removing the extra bells and whistles that accompany a normal YouTube video page and also by using advanced web techniques. The main aim is to reduce the latency wherever possible.
According to the feature announcement:
… is intended to serve YouTube video watch pages with the lowest latency possible. It achieves this by severely limiting the features available to the viewer and making use of advanced web techniques for reducing the total amount of bytes downloaded by the browser.
You can see the screenshot below:
To view full-size screenshot of the feather vesion, click here.
The increase in performance can be verified by Chrome’s dev tools:
The resources downloaded when you watch a video only have 52 KB, instead of 391 KB. [via Google Operating System]
While using the feather-feature, many normal functions of YouTube are stopped, for eg, there are no ‘more videos from this user’, non-collapsible Related Videos, you cannot rate videos or post comments among others. Also much of the styling is foregone.
Although it is much faster, to load the page as well as videos, I personally wasn’t to please with it. But it does come in handy while watching 1080p HD videos.
You can access this feature via this link: http://www.youtube.com/feather_beta