Thursday 08 December 2016

YouTube Redesign Much More than Skin Deep

At first glance, the new YouTube channel design, looks set to turn use of the channel on its head. Gone is the need to use any search (why would you, that is what Google is for) instead, as soon as you sign in, there is a video timeline, most recent at the top.

With a lot more than just a quick nod to the style of Twitter’s website and Facebook’s wall, the new design puts the most recent video at the top of a list of videos from all the channels you subscribe to.

This is a huge step away from the channel-based approach that has been the focus up to now. It is also a leap on from the Cosmic Panda revamp; the poor beast looks simply to have been buried behind the new user’s home page.

The first thing that hit me was the sheer number of things on the page. Check out the image above. That said, having grown to love the simplicity of Twitter’s timeline, you soon adjust to the new layout. There is a lot to take in, with individual videos form your subscriptions taking center stage, recommendations on the right sidebar and main navigation down the left, yet it feels natural, an significant evolution not a revolution.

Fundamentally users are going to be forced – with a small ‘f’ – to change the way they use the channel. Subscriptions are no longer an after thought, they are the crux of the whole experience. I can see subscriptions going through the roof.

The other major change is that registering with Google will be the entry point into getting the most out of YouTube. The majority of us have already taken this plunge be it from Gmail, iGoogle, docs or maybe even Google+. Till now my YouTube use, like many people’s I suspect, has been adhoc, I simply watch the videos embedded in sites off the platform. There has been no need to sign in. Now there is a solid reason to sign up and get subscribing. This will soon become the norm, turning the current status quo on its head.

Brand channels are going to have to think seriously about the impact in two ways:

  • Channel takeovers and on-site advertising could be much less effective
  • Visiting a company or brand channel will now be an after thought and not the main reason to go to YouTube, no more prioritization of videos they want you to see

There are also ways to discover more quickly. Trending, popular and music buttons on the left hand navigation pull up YouTube compiled lists. The music list is a clever idea, as a significant number of people already use YouTube as a computer based jukebox. These look to be global lists at the moment and localizing would make this even more compelling.

So is this another indicator of Google’s broader strategy to put the content at the center of the user experience? Is it now putting individual preferences and popular recommendation at the heart of YouTube? Is this a result of the surge in search on Facebook? Looks to me like all of these things.

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/EdelmanDigital/~3/Up0c1odmZYg/