TEXTp is the result of months of intense transcoding efforts by our engineers, who toiled for weeks to ensure that a large chunk of videos on the platform could be reduced to their most basic elements. By replacing the images in the video with a series of letters and numbers, the videos are far less taxing on our system -- and have the added benefit of promoting literacy!
To give it a whirl, make sure you have the latest Flash player (10.0) and click here. Or you can select “TEXTp” from the pulldown menu on most videos, as so:
You can also append &textp=fool to most video URLs to test it out.
For every person who selects TEXTp and keeps it on while you watch a video, you save YouTube $1 a second, resulting in potentially billions of dollars of savings for us. So if you care about YouTube, you’ll use TEXTp today.
Patrick Pichette, SVP and Chief Financial Officer, Google