YouTube occasionally tests new features with small groups of people before rolling them out to everyone. The service is currently experimenting with a zoom feature for videos, but for now, only YouTube Premium subscribers can try it.
YouTube Premium subscribers can now test the experimental YouTube for Android feature, as pointed out by 9to5Google. By tapping your profile picture and then going to Premium Benefits > Try New Features, you’ll see an opt-out option for YouTube video upscaling. When this feature is enabled, scaling support for the video player is added.
The new feature can come in handy for videos re-uploaded from other sources, which often have letterboxes on all sides. YouTube’s mobile apps already let you crop videos to fit the screen width, a useful feature for phones with ultra-tall screens, and an experimental option adds even more flexibility.
Even though this option is available on my Galaxy S22, I can’t zoom in while video is playing, so your results may vary. YouTube plans to continue experimenting with the feature until at least September 1st, after which Google may roll it out to more people or extend testing. For now, it’s only supported on Android—sorry, iPhone and iPad owners.
YouTube Premium is a monthly subscription that removes ads from YouTube videos (while paying creators, unlike ad blockers), lets you save videos for offline playback, and adds features to YouTube Music. Google also sometimes allows Premium subscribers to test new features before anyone else.