Mozilla's Technical Program Manager has suggested that Google’s recent design refresh of YouTube performs worse on Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Edge, the two biggest competitors to Google’s own Chrome web browser.
Chris Peterson, the Program Manager who made the claim, suggests that this is down to YouTube’s recent redesign, which uses Google’s Polymer technology.
YouTube page load is 5x slower in Firefox and Edge than in Chrome because YouTube's Polymer redesign relies on the deprecated Shadow DOM v0 API only implemented in Chrome. You can restore YouTube's faster pre-Polymer design with this Firefox extension: https://t.co/F5uEn3iMLRJuly 24, 2018
When it launched the redesign, Google claimed the use of its Polymer library would help with “quicker feature development”. The redesign uses the deprecated Shadow DOM v0 API, which is only available in Chrome.
Cynics will suggest that Google has purposefully done this so that YouTube viewers will use its Chrome web browser (or YouTube app) to get the best experience.
However, others will argue that it’s fair enough that Google makes a service which it owns run better on its own software, using technology that it has designed.
It’s interesting that this issue has been called out by Mozilla, rather than Microsoft. Microsoft uses its own advantages to push Edge, such as having it come pre-installed with Windows 10. Google has yet to comment.
Meanwhile, Peterson offers some suggestions to Firefox and Edge users on how to get better YouTube performance. There's a Firefox extension called YouTube Classic, which reverts YouTube to its pre-Polymer design, while Edge users can use the Tampermonkey extension.
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Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.