Over the last couple of months YouTube has been working on a new site redesign, rolling out experiments for user feedback. After months of experimentation and tweaking, last night YouTube officially rolled out a brand new look that puts a lot more emphasis on subscriptions.
The new design trades in the dark sidebar for a lighter guide that features the channels you are subscribed. The homepage features a list of videos from your channel subscriptions, along with personalized video recommendations, based on what YouTube thinks you’ll want to watch next. Videos you’ve already watched appear greyed out.
From the homepage, you can also easily click through to your Watch Later list, Watch History, Playlists, and messages.
But the centerpiece of the navigation bar is Subscriptions, where you’ll find a list of the channels you are subscribed to with a number indicating how many new videos have been uploaded since you last watched. Easily click through to see all of the activity and uploads from the channels you are subscribed to.
A page on the video site dedicated to the new design explains that “YouTube gets better when you subscribe. That’s what this update is all about. Those awesome videos you watch belong to channels with many more videos like them. Subscribing to channels is just like adding your favorite shows to your DVR. Once you subscribe, those channels and all of your favorite videos will be delivered to you wherever you lie to watch, whether it’s on your phone, tablet, TV, or desktop.”
Channel pages have also gotten a major redesign. Most notably, videos have been moved to the top of the page with the title, subscribe button and other information below. Playlists have been moved up as well, so you can more easily browse through the other videos in the list as you watch.
On channel pages a new section has been added to the left that shows off more content, including videos and playlists, from the channel you are watching. This should be beneficial when it comes to getting viewers to stick around and watch more content on a single channel.
Of course, you’ll also notice that YouTube is beginning to look even more like other Google sites. YouTube explains, “Because you login to YouTube with your Google Account, we wanted our new design to remind you that all of your favorite Google features will follow you to YouTube.”
What do you think of the new design? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Megan O’Neill is the resident web video expert here at Social Times. Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.