From time to time, YouTube tests new features with small groups of people, before rolling them out to everyone. The service is now experimenting with a pinch-to-zoom feature for videos, but only YouTube Premium members can try it for now.
YouTube Premium subscribers can now try an experimental feature on YouTube for Android, as noted 9to5Google. Tapping on your profile picture, then navigating to Your Premium Benefits > Try New Features, displays a subscription feature to zoom YouTube videos. When enabled, the feature adds pinch-to-zoom support for the video player.
The new feature could be useful for videos that are reloaded from other sources, which are often formatted as widescreen on all sides. YouTube’s mobile apps already let you crop a video to match the width of your screen, a useful feature for phones with ultra-tall screens, and the experimental option adds even more flexibility.
Although the option is available on my Galaxy S22, I can’t zoom while a video is playing, so your results may vary. YouTube plans to continue experimenting with the feature until September 1 at the earliest, at which point Google may roll it out to more people or extend testing. For now, it is only compatible with Android; sorry iPhone and iPad owners.
YouTube Premium is a monthly subscription that removes ads from YouTube videos (while still paying creators, unlike ad blockers), lets you save videos for offline playback, and adds features to YouTube Music. Google also occasionally allows Premium subscribers to try new features before everyone else.