YouTube is testing a new pinch-to-zoom feature on mobile devices.
The experiment, which is exclusive to YouTube Premium subscribers, will run until Sept. 1. At that point YouTube will decide whether or not it wants to make this feature available permanently.
YouTube Premium subscribers can enable pinch-to-zoom on YouTube’s website(Opens in a new window) and then start playing around with it on their iOS or Android devices. (Although I had to restart the YouTube app on my iPhone before the experimental feature was made available on that device.)
The feature works like you’d expect, given that pinch-to-zoom has been a standard feature on smartphones since the original iPhone debuted in 2007. It offers single-point adjustments to the current magnification (1.0, 1.1, etc.) up to a maximum zoom level of 8.
There are natural limitations on this feature. YouTube defaults to streaming at lower resolutions on mobile devices, for example, meaning there aren’t as many fine details to zoom in on. But even higher resolution streams are going to look pretty blocky at 8x magnification.
Recommended by Our Editors
YouTube users might still appreciate the ability to get a closer look at something in a video. The feature could prove useful to people hunting for Easter Eggs, for example, or looking to confirm their appearance in the background of a video so they can brag about being internet famous.
Get Our Best Stories!
Sign up for What’s New Now to get our top stories delivered to your inbox every morning.