26th February

Yesterday YouTube announced it is building upon its existing face-blurring feature that was first introduced in 2012 that easily allows YouTubers to blur moving objects in a few clicks. This new feature allows users, who have already uploaded a video to their site, to blur moving objects by drawing a box over anything they want. This tool can more easily allow YouTubers, without separate video-editing software, to respect other people’s privacy by blurring different objects that feature in frame.

In their blog post announcing the update, they highlighted that this new feature makes use of new innovative technology that can analyse motion on any video on the fly. After selecting an object, YouTube then tracks that object within the video, and moves though the video frame by frame, adjusting the frame accordingly (see the helpful GIF below).

The uses for this new feature are vast. If you accidentally forgot to blur something after the video had been uploaded to YouTube you are now in luck, as you don’t have to re-upload a modified video, you can modify the existing video itself. YouTube has provided video makers with a simple tool to blur things like people, contact information or private financial information. Whilst the blurring of most objects and faces has typically been completed within the video editing suite before it is uploaded, this change is one that allows video users to do this after the video has been uploaded.

These blurring effects can be added, removed, and resized at any time and the end user has no control over turning the blurring effect on or off. Keen video makers, who have their own YouTube channel, can access the custom blurring tool in the enhancements tab of each video that has already been uploaded. Whilst I tend to frame the shot correctly in the first place, and occasionally have to crop the image to ensure we cut out rogue objects I didn’t spot whilst filming, it’s nice to know that this time saving option is available, which can help enhance the privacy of those featured in your videos which can be viewed by anyone in the world with an internet connection.