YouTube has begun cracking down on ad blockers, and it also appears to be slowing down loading times for users on Mozilla’s Firefox browser.
Loading YouTube.com is something that many people do every day, but lately, this process has become strangely slow for some, specifically On Firefox. As has now been documented, this appears to be an intentional choice on Google’s part.
Redditor u/vk6_ posted a video It shows YouTube loading on Firefox with significant delay. For a few seconds, the page is mostly blank, with background elements visible but no accompanying content. After those few seconds, the page loads as usual.
One might assume that this is just a connectivity issue, but the video clearly shows that this is a choice on Google’s part. When you spoof the Firefox user agent to make it look like Chrome, YouTube loads completely as usual. There is no waiting time, and the download as a whole is as well Radically faster.
At a glance, this seems clear evidence that this is a choice on Google’s part, and there it is may be be more than that. Another user found the code on YouTube.com which displays a “timeout” function in the script that forces users to wait five seconds before the page loads. However, some believe this may be the case in a relationship To an ad blocking campaign. The code itself doesn’t seem to refer to Firefox in particular, however Some users have found that Using a filter for this code seems to fix the loading times.
It’s also worth noting that we tried this the other way. Spoofing Chrome to work as Firefox does no This pushed the delay into effect.
But it is difficult to say anything with certainty.
The reason behind this is unclear, but it comes at a less than ironic time. Amid the crackdown on ad blockers and Chrome’s removal of Manifest V2 extensions (which will break some ad blockers), Firefox has been a go-to place for many people.
Another explanation might just be a technical error, but it’s hard to pinpoint what it is. Firefox runs on the Gecko browser engine rather than the Blink engine more commonly used on Chrome, Edge, and others, and WebKit, which is used in Safari, but spoofing the browser with an extension doesn’t change the engine used which, again, suggests this has to do specifically with Firefox. Kyle Bradshaw suggests it might be as simple as the code base used for the Gecko engine had a delay in testing that caused it to arrive in production by mistake. The fact that this doesn’t happen when Chrome is spoofed to act like Firefox also supports the idea that this is more of a technical issue.
Anyway, it’s a very frustrating issue, and it’s interesting to see.
Google has not acknowledged the problem yet.
More on YouTube:
to update: Post updated to reflect testing where spoofing Chrome to act like Firefox does not show the same lag.
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