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Google’s video supersite YouTube has been ramping up support for HTML5 this year, most recently with the launch of a mobile website powered by the new Web format. YouTube’s latest move is a new code style for embedded videos that allows them to be viewed in HTML5.

That’s important because embedding is how videos get distributed beyond the YouTube website itself — that’s how we can share YouTube videos in our VentureBeat articles, for example.

And the change could be especially significant for mobile users, since YouTube’s old format, Flash, isn’t supported on most smartphones. (That’s starting to change on some devices, but not on the iPhone.) Right now, if you view a website with an embedded video on your phone, it will either show up as an error message, or clicking on it will open the separate YouTube app, rather than playing directly on the page. Eventually, the new embed code will allow those HTML5 videos to play on phones too, so no more error messages.

For now, YouTube says the embed codes will support both formats. If the viewer’s browser supports HTML5, then the video will play in HTML5. Otherwise, it will play in Flash.

[image via webdesignlovers]

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