Google may frequently revise its mobile platforms and sites, but when it comes to core web properties like Google Search and YouTube, major redesigns seem off limits. Apparently, that’s not the case.
As of December 1st, YouTube has received a substantial facelift. Almost every element of the site’s front page besides the logo has been changed. Channel subscriptions were already a major part of site, but the new design goes all-in with them.
If you’re logged in to your Google account your subscribed channels will dominate the page. Users who are not logged in will still see a re-designed page, but content is pulled from popular channels instead.
Social media is also an important part of the new design. When logged in, users will be able to click on Google+ and Facebook channels in the new sidebar to only see YouTube content that has been shared by friends. If you want to find content on your own, however, you can still access it by browsing YouTube’s video categories. Alternatively, you can find recommended channels by clicking the “Add Channels” button on the upper left hand side of the homepage.
Once you’ve navigated past the main page, the changes are more subtle. The video interface remains the same and most of the buttons around it haven’t been drastically altered, but they have been tweaked to fit the new look.
Channel owners will notice that there is now an analytics button available under videos listed in the video manager. This will take you to a new analytics feature that provides performance information. YouTube provided some of this information before, but the interface has been revised and functionality expanded to help channel owners see which videos are leading in active subscriptions.
Such a major change to a popular site is sure to cause uproar, both positive and negative. What do you think of the new look? Is it social sharing bliss, or a blight of bad design?