YouTube Announces App Redesign, New Logo
After first announcing a test of their new desktop layout and features back in May, YouTube's now rolling the changes out to all users, while also updating their mobile app to better align with the new desktop experience.
On the desktop version, the new YouTube experience is designed to be faster, cleaner and to put more emphasis on the content, as opposed to distracting with side bars and graphics.
The new desktop version also includes 'dark theme', which offers a better viewing experience in low-light situations.
When the updates were first announced, they were only released to a small group of users, but anyone could opt-in to be part of the test phase. That testing obviously went well, as YouTube's now rolling the desktop experience out to all users from today.
As for the mobile app, YouTube's releasing a range of changes, including:
White header to limit distraction
YouTube's removed the distracting red header bar, replacing it with a new, white banner.
They've also moved the navigation tabs to the bottom of the screen, which is more in line with other social platforms.
YouTube's also adding in new controls which enable you to double tap on the left or right of the video screen to fast forward or rewind 10 seconds.
Actually, this has been in place since earlier this year, but the functionality's getting new emphasis in the redesign, with YouTube also working on a new option which will enable users to swipe right or left to view the next or last video in your queue.
Again, this aligns with other social app usage trends - it's not available as yet, but it's coming.
Variable playback speed
YouTube's also bringing variable playback speeds to the app.
Desktop users have been able to view videos at varying speeds for some time, and now, mobile users will have the same option.
Content format adaption
Back in June, YouTube outlined their efforts to update their playback functionality to adapt to the format any video is captured in. While this, also, is not fully completed yet, another new feature coming to the mobile app will be fully responsive and adaptive video, based on format - including vertical content.
But this is all functional - the change you're most likely to notice right away is the new logo. YouTube has given its logo its most significant overhaul ever, with the new format more adaptive to different display formats.
In some applications, you'll only see the icon to save space, while the full title can still be displayed in a less distracting way.
YouTube's rolled out various updates of late, including in-stream chat and live-stream creator payments, while also announcing a new slate of original programming to counter the rising video challenge from Facebook. While Facebook, and to a lesser degree Snapchat, have become 'the cool kids on the block' in video, YouTube has always held the mantle as the leading online video platform, and still does, with more than 1.5 billion monthly active users.
These latest updates show that while more video players may have come onto the scene, YouTube is still a power player in the sector, if not the power player. Other platforms may have allure, but don't ignore YouTube in your video content mix.
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