YouTube tests floating comment box for full-screen videos

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Bhawani Singh
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YouTube on Android has gone through numerous changes and tweaks, and has plenty of ongoing UI tests. The latest looks to be a floating window for YouTube comments section when viewing videos on Android.

[Update 09/20]: The new fullscreen comments appear to be more widely available on Android. The caveat here is that you’ll need to already be viewing the comments section, then put your phone into landscape or fullscreen mode to see the new floating sidebar. It won’t automatically appear as with live chat on live streaming content.

We’re not entirely sure just when this change was made, but it’s appearing on multiple test devices. The same swipe down gesture allows you to minimize the section and re-enter an unencumbered fullscreen mode again should you not want to read any comments. This doesn’t appear to be the case for everyone though, as according to Android Police, many need to tap the “X” icon to close YouTube’s floating comment window:

YouTube floating comment window on Android

When you go full-screen with a video, the comments section currently disappears. The only exception to that is when viewing live streams, where a live chat log will appear on the left side of your display, semi-obscuring whatever you happen to be watching. According to Android Police, some Android users have spotted a floating comment box in the YouTube app when going full-screen with content.

Reports on Reddit and Twitter hint that this isn’t a rare occurrence either. Plenty of people are seeing the floating comments option, which allows you to scroll down an entire YouTube video comment section. What’s more interesting is how the video is actually handled. When you go full-screen, the comment box slides in from the right side of your display and the video content is minimized slightly so that nothing is obscured.

video: Android Police

It reminds us of how Apple has implemented multi-window app views on iPad OS, in that it feels a little cluttered but still works well. Swiping this panel down just minimizes the floating comments section and expands any YouTube video you’re currently watching. If you like reading the comments section when watching a video on your Android device, this looks to be a fairly good solution.

This floating comments panel or window actually looks like a better way to implement live chats on YouTube live streams, something that isn’t that fun on mobile at present. Let us know if you have seen this option on your device down in the comments section below.

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