The world is almost in lock down and in quarantine as most countries are already closing their borders and imposing stricter measures to keep the population at home, the burden on internet services, including YouTube, is more significant than ever. Working at home is a partial solution for some companies, Schools opting in for virtual classes (as much as possible).
While internet users are simply looking for ways to utilize mandatory lockdown time, governments are concerned about the additional stress that this is causing their Internet infrastructures. YouTube is the first platform to respond to the call globally.
Through an update on its blog dedicated to the COVID-19 pandemic, YouTube has announced that all the videos on the platform will now be automatically streamed in default 480p standard quality globally. According to the update, starting today, the service will be updated slowly. That said, users can still change the quality of the videos back to HD manually when needed.
YouTube To Default To Standard Definition Video Globally For A Month
A statement made by YouTube parent company, Google said that;
“We continue to work closely with governments and network operators around the globe. To do our part to minimize stress on the system during this unprecedented situation. Last week, we announced that we were temporarily defaulting all videos on YouTube to standard definition in the EU. Given the global nature of this crisis. We will expand that change globally starting today.”,
This move is not new as it was just last week that YouTube was reportedly planning on defaulting all videos to SD (standard definition) aka 480p in Europe due to stress on the networks caused by people staying at home because of coronavirus-related movement restrictions.
Similarly, Netflix and Amazon have also lowered their default streaming video quality to SD. Considering that this week many countries in Latin America begin their isolation measures, and they tend to harden as the pandemic expands.
The number of cases increases and more people respond to the call to stay home. It will not be surprising if the measure gets further expand on more streaming platforms in the coming days to lower the strain on internet bandwidth.