YouTube Search Bar: Now You See It, Now You Don’t

If you were anywhere in the vicinity of an online video enthusiast who had embedded a YouTube video, yesterday, you were likely greeted with a cacophony of profanities. Why? Many users found their embedded videos were now marred by a large gray search bar plastered across the top of their embeds. Functional though it may have been, it wasn’t pretty. And people weren’t happy.

The search bar was part of the YouTube skin, so users could remove it programmatically. But for people with multiple embedded YouTube videos, that meant a lot of editing.

Well, apparently, YouTube was listening. And they’ve quickly rectified the problem. The search bar is still there, but now with a much more graceful implementation.

As you’ll see from the embedded video below, on some of the embedded videos the search bar is now triggered by a mouseover. Move your mouse onto the embedded video and it slides into view. Move it off the video and the search bar disappears.

Better? Not so fast. Or more accurately: you better be fast. Why? There’s still a little hiccup when you’re trying to grab the embed code on an embedded video. Click on additional information icon to get to the embed code. Search bar slides into place. Now try to grab the embed code to copy it. If you wait too long, the search bar times out and puts everything away. You’ve got to be pretty quick on the draw to grab the embed code.

So the search box is still flawed, but much less obtrusive.

One has to wonder – if it only took a few hours to correct this problem – why did YouTube choose to roll out the first version? Were they hoping users would take kindly to the missing chunk of real estate? Were they assuming the ease of searching would outweigh any aesthetic impact?

It’s hard to say. But hopefully, YouTube enthusiasts and Google have found a happy middle ground with this implementation. Once some of the kinks are worked out.

YouTube search bar image courtesy of Lifehacker

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