YouTube has rolled out a subtle new update to their video player which adds the ability to put the video you are currently watching into a miniplayer. This lets you watch videos in a small overlay window, which also allowing you to browse for new videos on YouTube. A much-appreciated feature, and one that deserves a lot more attention.
The new miniplayer in YouTube allows users to put their video in a small overlay, allowing the user to navigate to other parts of YouTube with ease. This is similar to how people play their TV shows or music videos in small window while working, so they can multi-task. Unfortunately, this is a far cry from YouTube getting their own picture-in-picture as the video won’t follow you outside the YouTube tab. You are also unable to adjust the position and size of the miniplayer, perhaps YouTube might add that as a feature in a future update.
The miniplayer definitely helps with multi-tasking, and can be useful for browsing other videos while watching one. You can also add other videos to a playlist or watch later list without switching to another tab or leaving your current window. Unfortunately, you cannot add to the now playing playlist in the miniplayer as it only plays one video at a time. Such a feature would be amazing and make it much easier to create instant playlists, without having to jump through multiple hoops to save them.
We have tested the miniplayer on Chrome, Safari and Firefox on Windows and macOS and it works as expected. To use the miniplayer, just press the new button next to the gear icon. The button is labeled in the screenshot below:
If you wish to bring your video back to normal size, just click on the video name and you will have the video occupying the whole tab once more. Whether you are in a playlist or not, you can keep pressing the next button in the miniplayer to keep watching more videos from your Up next queue. If you click another video on YouTube, your miniplayer video will stop playing and the new video will start.
This is easily one of the most subtle changes to YouTube in a long time, but it would be great if they can add native picture-in-picture for Chrome on desktop. Safari already supports picture-in-picture playback for YouTube on macOS.