New! Our Player Now Supports Inline Video Playback on Mobile

April 4, 2017

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Naike Romain


The days of desktop browsing aren’t over, but the majority of web traffic is coming from mobile devices. People are researching products, making decisions about what to buy, and even completing purchases on their phones and tablets. In fact, 34% of online purchases now happen on mobile devices.

Search engines noticed this trend and have been encouraging all sites to improve their mobile experiences or face lower search result rankings. Anyone remember mobilegeddon?

Your website’s videos are no exception — they need to be optimized for mobile viewers. Until now, mobile devices’ operating systems have dictated the viewing experience. But the truth is, native players just don’t cut it.

At Wistia, we’re passionate about delivering the best and most consistent viewing experience across devices. That’s why we’re excited to announce that our Vulcan video player now supports inline playback on mobile browsers.

Brendan’s especially excited … 

As Brendan explained (shouted), our latest update means you get full control of your video player, and your viewers get a seamless experience, no matter the device.

Give your viewers a better experience

The native mobile video player experience often disrupts your visitors’ ability to browse your site. In Safari, the native player automatically enters fullscreen mode. In Chrome, if you’re using YouTube for hosting your on-site videos, your viewers are redirected to the YouTube app and away from your site.

Now, Wistia videos will play inline on all mobile browsers and only convert to fullscreen if the viewer rotates their device to landscape. Sayonara native player distractions, and hello brand consistency and valuable customizations!

“Wistia videos will play inline on all mobile browsers and only convert to fullscreen if the viewer rotates their device to landscape.”

Viewers will get to decide if they want to stop what they’re doing to watch the video or continue scrolling to see what else is on the page. With a player optimized for mobile, you won’t risk interrupting your audience’s engagement or driving your traffic elsewhere.

Keep all your customizations and controls

Historically, customizations and controls on mobile have been somewhat unreliable. This meant your audience’s experience was subject to changes that you couldn’t predict.

Even the video controls that you made available — like playback speed options or restrictions on how your video gets shared — were stripped away. In one case last December, Android released an update that made it possible for anyone to download videos for offline viewing later. This poses a major problem for businesses that create gated content and don’t want their content to be shared.

Say goodbye to all those headaches.

All of the interactive elements you’ve added to your videos will work just as smoothly on mobile devices, and viewers will have access to the controls you’ve selected.

“All of the interactive elements you’ve added to your videos will work just as smoothly on mobile devices.”

So go to town on those Timeline Actions, and rest assured that your viewers are getting the experience you designed.

It’s all happening

The best part about this update — you don’t have to do anything to get it. Our mobile-friendly version of Vulcan will be coming to your account over the next few days. Your videos will be automatically updated to make sure your mobile viewers are seeing them the way you intended.

Our player works the same no matter where your viewers are or what device they’re using.

Controls and customizations aside, this means your video quality will be just as high on mobile as it is on a desktop with adaptive streaming and support for 4K videos on Android and iOS.

We know that video viewing environments will continue to change, and we’re going to keep adapting so that you can focus on the fun, and most important parts: creating and sharing great videos.

Naike Romain


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