YouTube is facing scrutiny as users of Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Edge report experiencing slower load times on the platform. Redditor, vk6_ demonstrated a five-second delay when loading YouTube videos using Mozilla Firefox. Intriguingly, manually changing the user agent to Chrome eliminated this delay. So it could be possible that YouTube is deliberately taking this measure for the said browsers.

The Redditor discovered that this delay is not a bug but is embedded in the JavaScript code of the YouTube client for desktop. Specifically, he identified a piece of code that introduces an artificial five-second delay. Users noticing the five-second delay before the video playback can verify the presence of this code by inspecting a YouTube JavaScript file. The snippet in question reads as follows: setTimeout(function(){c();a.resolve(1)},5E3);.

The delay in YouTube video playback on Firefox appears to be independent of ad-blockers

While some users reported no issues across different browsers, numerous complaints surfaced regarding the delayed behavior on Firefox and Edge. Notably, users asserted that the delay persists even with all browser extensions disabled. It indicates that it might be implemented on a per-account basis.

The recurring delay reportedly occurs every time users open an YouTube in a new tab. It suggests a systematic implementation rather than an isolated incident. Discussions around this issue speculate that the embedded code might be a strategy to counter ad-blockers. Some users propose that this could be a lazy implementation of an ad fallback mechanism, ensuring that YouTube will display an advertisement for at least five seconds before the actual video content starts.

YouTube’s recent actions, including blocking ad-blockers and promoting YouTube Premium, have sparked debates about its monetization strategies. While the platform’s need for revenue is understandable, the intentional introduction of delays for users on specific browsers raises questions about user experience and fairness.

Users and the online community have already delved into the intricacies of YouTube’s code, figuring out how the delay is implemented. However, YouTube is yet to comment on the matter to justify the implementation.

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