On February 4th, YouTube announced a new Channel design. Though it is currently in limited beta, the new design will soon be available to all users. YouTube Channel design refreshes are nothing new - and typically frequent. However, this update includes the addition of two significant features that were previously unavailable. Here's the lowdown.
On the homepage of your YouTube Channel, you now have the ability to feature a "trailer" to users who are not yet subscribed to your Channel. Currently, you can specify a "featured video" that takes up a majority of the space on a Channel homepage above the fold. The downside is that this featured video is visible to all users. The Channel Trailer, however, is a good way to entice non-subscribers to subscribe to your Channel.
Consider creating a Channel Trailer now so that it's ready to go when the new design hits your account. Check out an example of a Channel Trailer on iJustine's Channel. You can see that she does a good job of welcoming non-subscribers and giving them a taste of the kinds of videos that she produces and uploads to her YouTube Channel.
Channel Art allows you to upload a branded banner image that sits at the top of your YouTube Channel. Previously, only YouTube Partners and non-profits had the ability to upload a banner image. With the new Channel update, all users will be able to take advantage of Channel Art. This banner image is even optimized for mobile viewing, and automatically displays social buttons if you have other networks connected to your account.
YouTube has created a comprehensive guidelines document to Channel Art in their Help section.
It appears as though background images are falling out of favor with YouTube. Luckily, Channel Art represents a new standard in terms of a defined fit and feel for all Channels. Log in to your YouTube account frequently to see if the new design layout has been applied to your Channel!
In a separate blog post, YouTube also announced that all users now have the ability to bulk edit video settings like privacy, tags and monetization. This is a huge usability upgrade, especially in cases where multiple videos need to be assigned the same keyword tags. Considering the increased visibility and importance of tags on the new Channel designs, video producers should take a look at all of their tags and make adjustments as needed. The Bulk Actions feature is currently available to all YouTube users.