Thursday, April 01, 2010

YouTube's New Look

YouTube's New Look

Twitter's not the only website changing its look. By the end of Thursday, April 1st, everyone should see a new, improved YouTube that has been in beta since January. It's cleaner, it's simpler, and it's designed to keep people coming back. YouTube designer Julian Frumar says the website's pages were beginning to make site visits overwhelming and slow. The new design is meant to eliminate some of that.

So what has changed on video site? Lots of things! Those who post content can take advantage of new ways to brand themselves, including a logo above the video player. Also, when someone views a video, they'll be able to see what else the poster has to offer by clicking on thumbnails and links at the top of the page. YouTube believes this will prompt more people to subscribe to unique users' content.

Tracking a video's popularity is also easier now because it's easier to access. The view counter now shows analytics when expanded and a timeline that allows you to see how the video's popularity has evolved over time.

According to CNET, the website is hoping to turn the casual user into what it calls a "power user." These are people who, "bookmark videos, send the video to their social networks, record video replies, subscribe to video feeds, create playlists, and browse videos by location."

When rating a video, you can no longer assign a number of one to five stars. Now, you can give a video a "thumbs up" or "thumbs down," and a percentage rating will be calculated. According to Frumar, most people using the star system were only using the five or one stars (best or wost) to rate videos anyway.

As mentioned, the main goal is to keep people using and coming back to the site. People use YouTube for about fifteen minutes a day, but they watch TV for five plus hours. YouTube wants to add to that fifteen minutes.

What do you think? Does the new YouTube make you want to spend more time watching videos online?

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