The first thing most Youtube users do as soon as they get a laptop or a phone is start watching videos on their phone or laptop. But now, as videos are uploaded to YouTube directly on your web browser, there’s a new option: using a computer. (Technically, some of those that do decide to watch videos on a laptop don’t really want to stay on their screen for long, so the computer may actually offer a different way to watch video content).
When I spoke briefly to a number of users that were doing the same thing, it turns out that they were using the same Windows or MacOS laptop or desktop, but using different computer monitors with different ports, ports that are connected to USB, HDMI, or a second display. (It’s not uncommon these days to have 4 or more displays connected, but a lot of users tend to select the USB type as their primary display) On this new display, most YouTube views now come from the computer, so it can be confusing, and sometimes it is better simply to stick with one computer and watch videos directly on that.
Is this new trend really new?
As far as I can tell, yes. Most of the people I talked to before I wrote this article said they were using other computers to watch videos, or only on computers, for a number of reasons: (1) they wanted to watch videos on the first display, or (2) they just didn’t like to watch YouTube on the laptop they were using, or (3) they wanted more space, or maybe because they were watching a YouTube video in their favorite window — like a browser tab — and just wanted to watch it on that window.
A couple of questions:
If they’re watching videos on a computer, which computer are they using?
Yes and no. The answer depends on what display you have plugged in. (It sounds confusing, but just let me know if you can’t tell what they are referring to.) For most of us — at least the ones writing this article — we’ll be referring to your laptop and/or desktop computer (which often have a screen, for simplicity, but is in fact more than a screen). But do note that you can always choose to watch some videos on a laptop if you prefer, even if you don’t think you’ve changed your habits by using a laptop.
You can plug in a different display — like a TV — but for YouTube, it isn’t really necessary at all