YouTube Embed – Removed Features

They finally really did it. You Maniacs! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!

Yes, version 4 of YouTube Embed has been released and, yes, a lot of the existing functionality has been removed. But why? I’ve put this page together on my site to try and explain it all a little better.

The over-arching reason for removing the functionality is three fold…

  1. To produce a smaller, easier to maintain, piece of code. Under the previous ownership of Applian, a lot of new functions were added to try and attract new users, when in fact the “under the hood” code was in serious need of attention.
  2. A lot of the functionality doesn’t work. YouTube changed its API some time ago – before it was quick and easy to access, without the need of API keys, and the such, but that has changed.
  3. A lot of the features were, in all honesty, hardly used.

But let me give details of what’s been removed and why and, hopefully, this explains it a little further.

Some of it (i.e. the broken functionality) will be added in a later time, some will probably only come back if there’s a real need for it. Certainly, my intention is to add back any of these only by an “add-in” option, so those who just want basic YouTube embedding don’t have to worry about the bulk of other functions they don’t use.

Comments, Transcripts, Video name / API

As mentioned above, these no longer work due to the change of the YouTube API. Rather than leave in broken code, I’ve removed it. In time, I’m sure, I’ll add it back in but now working.

Object & Chromeless Embedding

Object embedding is now very much deprecated by YouTube and doesn’t have any advantages any more. Chromeless embedding has equally gone but can be re-created by setting up the appropriate parameters on a normal embed to hide the playback bar, etc.


Probably the most controversial decision was removing EmbedPlus. Long before there was a dedicated EmbedPlus plugin I championed its use. However, it doesn’t support IFRAME embedding (which means it doesn’t work in browsers that don’t support Flash – most mobile devices, for a start), a lot of premium features have been added which I can’t support (as a penniless developer) and the developer has admitted he’s ripping it all out soon to replace with an IFRAME version.

In fact, I still supported EmbedPlus until the last minute and it was truly the last thing I removed. But, it’s not right to be supporting a reduced piece of functionality, that doesn’t share its code with the the IFRAME embed, particularly if it’s all due to be changed in the coming months anyway. So it’s gone.

However, once EmbedPlus is all modern and IFRAME-y I’ll look to re-implement it as an add-on.

Migration Tools

Lots of features were added to allow you to migrate from other plugins. Again, not used very much, added a lot of overheads and thanks to plugins such as Jetpack, which uses the same shortcode, most people are now using compatible embedding methods.

Functions Calls

I’m not aware of anybody using this, with widget and shortcode functionality, I don’t know why anybody would want to call the code directly. I’ve certainly stopped adding function call support to my other plugins and nobody has asked for it to be added.

Changing the shortcode in the editor button

You had the option to change which shortcode was used when you pressed the editor button. This caused all sorts of issues, passing the data into a Javascript function. So I’ve made it default to the standard YouTube version. If you use another one, I’m sure you’ll live without the editor button. In future I intend to add support for Shortcake, which will make remembering the shortcodes pretty redundant.

Force Video Quality

An option was added to allow you to force a particular video quality. It was an undocumented feature that, sadly, is now not working. So it’s removed.

Showing Videos in Comments

This is one of those rare beasts – it was both broken and there’s a better alternative anyway. Because of the built-in YouTube oEmbed if you add a video URL to a comment it shows it as a video now anyway.

The one thing you can’t do is control the output as you do with this plugin. A future planned changed is to allow you to allow this plugin to control the oEmbed output, which will include those that appear in comments.


Some minor stuff, such as the feature pointer when you activate the plugin, has been removed simply because it wasn’t used very much. Oh, and I allowed up to two alternative shortcodes, which I’ve now reduced to one. Why would you want a total of 3 shortcodes doing the same thing?