YouTube loads faster in Firefox and Edge than on Google’s Chrome browser, Mozilla’s technical program manager Chris Peterson discovered. Google’s online video platform is slower because it implements a deprecated feature in the source code that’s only still supported by Chrome.
Loading YouTube on Firefox or Edge can take up to five times longer, according to Peterson. The culprit is a library that’s loaded by default in Chrome, but has to be separately downloaded by Firefox, Edge and other browsers. The library contains depreciated code, which is why other browser don’t, or no longer, support it. Google confirms it’s using an older library and hopes to upgrade it. Why the company didn’t yet is explained by Google developer Alex Russell, who states on Twitter, “Complex situation, large code base.”
Firefox and Safari users who want to enjoy a faster loading YouTube can download an extension. With the Tampermonkey extension combined with a user script it’s possible to also automatically load the library Chrome loads by default. Firefox Extension “YouTube Classic” will restore an older version of the YouTube design and also speeds up loading of the video platform.