In a new redesign launched last night, YouTube made large changes to the layout and overall look while adding advanced social integration to the site.
Some of the biggest functionality changes include deeper social integration with Google+ and Facebook, new themes, better channel recommendations and an increased prominence of YouTube channels in general. Here’s the statement from YouTube on the new look:
We’ve given YouTube a refresh. When you login, you’ll be greeted with recent activity from your subscriptions. You can also browse and add new Channels to your homepage. Connect with Google+ and Facebook to share your favorites with friends. There’s plenty to discover, so login and give it a spin.
To the avid YouTube user the overall changes will be quite noticeable. The updates make the site legitimately like one-stop video viewing destination like Hulu or Netflix. The recommended channels seem to be delivering more targeted content, the navigation from different genres is easy, and channels like “trending” and “popular” are quite useful.
When logged out the main feature bucket looks deceivingly similar to the old YouTube, showing recent items from featured YouTube accounts. However, when logged in, this content bucket changes drastically. If a user ties their social accounts to YouTube all of the videos shared on Google+ or Facebook will appear directly in their YouTube stream. Here’s a look at Google+ videos shared by folks in my circles showing directly in my YouTube stream:
The left navigation bar features user information with a focus on social accounts, subscription information and channel information. It’s a serious upgrade from previous iterations, making jumping from social accounts to channels to subscriptions a breeze. The only issue that was surprising was the dark color selection of the bar. It first reminded me of the “old” Google toolbar
that is being revamped to a lighter gray.
So with a stronger focus on channels, deeper social tie-ins and a streamlined look, this revamp has created an improved integrated video viewing destination. Here’s an official video on the YouTube redesign:
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