Yesterday I found out you can’t disable YouTube’s “related videos” anymore.
Here’s what to do about it…
Recently I was showing a customer how to turn off “related videos” for YouTube embeds.
Only… it wasn’t working.
“That’s strange,” I said. “It looks like YouTube has changes the way their iframes work. I’ll have to do a little research and find out how to fix it”.
There wasn’t much written on the topic. I was hard pressed to find anything until I came across a forum thread titled: “YouTube embed showinfo has been deprecated”.
The thread explained that as of Sept 25, 2018 disabling related video has been depreciated.
Furthermore, the ability to hide titles and channel information has also been discontinued, which makes using YouTube for background videos pretty much a non-starter.
Why You Can’t Turn Off Related Videos
According to their official statement YouTube feels “Titles, channel information, and related videos are an important part of YouTube’s core user experience, and these changes help to make the YouTube viewing experience consistent across different platforms”.
So YouTube considers related videos an important part of their core experience and… consistency.
The Tube giveth, and the Tube taketh away.
I suppose it makes sense. After all, it’s their product, and they can do as they wish.
This means that people using YouTube to embed videos on their website, have a much higher chance of people clicking through to YouTube, and getting lost in an endless stream of cat videos (which is good for YouTube, but not-so-good for small businesses).
The Silver Lining – Same Channel Related Videos
There is, at least one bit of redemption to this story. Those who have previously opted to disable related videos will, at least, only have related videos pop-up from their own channel.
Which means unrelated cat videos (or worse things) won’t pop up at the end of your video, as long as you have
rel=0 at the end of your YouTube URL. Instead, you’ll just have videos from your own channel pop up (which I suppose isn’t too bad).
Here’s a quote from YouTube’s Official Page…
Note: This parameter is changing on or after September 25, 2018.
Prior to the change, this parameter indicates whether the player should show related videos when playback of the initial video ends.
After the change, you will not be able to disable related videos. Instead, if the
relparameter is set to
0, related videos will come from the same channel as the video that was just played.
So… Should You Still Use “rel=0”?
In a word, yes. You can (and should) still use
rel=0 at the end of your videos, because it will (at least) make sure that people will only see videos you uploaded, instead of commercials from your competitors, or random things unrelated to your business.
What If That’s Not Good Enough?
If you’re a website owner that embeds YouTube videos on their website, and you’re not okay with these changes, you’ll probably need to find another option.
Alternatives to YouTube
The only other video streaming source I personally have experience with is is Vimeo. They have free and paid accounts accounts. They do have something similar to YouTube’s “related videos” called “staff picks”, but you can turn them off if you pay for one of their premium accounts (starting at $7/month).
Unlike YouTube, the ability to not show related videos happens inside your account settings, so you have to own the video in question if you want to change this setting.
Daily motion, has a “Up Next Queue” which is similar to YouTube’s “Related Videos” but it can be turned off my adding
?queue-enable=false to the end of the url (when using the iframe embed code).
Self Hosted Videos
If your video files are small, you could host the video directly on your website with HTML5 video.
However, I don’t recommend this for novices.
Videos will load slow, unless you carefully consider compression. I recommend keeping your video files under 5MB (and no more than 10MB). That might sound crazy to some of you, but self-hosting larger videos can cause significant slowdowns across your entire website.
Recommended software if you’re going to self host…
To compress your videos, I strongly recommend a free program called HandBrake. It’s fantastic at making files tiny with minimal loss of quality.
Read more about The Pros and Cons of Self-Hosting Video.
More Video Hosting Options
Need more alternatives? Try reading “YouTube Alternatives – 15 Best Video Sharing Sites Like YouTube”.
What Do You Think?
I’d love to hear from you. Are you okay with these changes? Does it fill you with rage, or just mild annoyance?
Perhaps more importantly, will it cause you to change where you host your videos? If so, do you have any recommendations?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below..