YouTube Is Getting a Facelift

YouTube has recently unveiled the new design of their desktop website to enhance the user experience. With 4 major changes and more on the way, YouTube is certainly doing all they can to keep users on the platform. Here’s what you need to know about the latest developments on the video site.

What's Different?

1) Clean Design – YouTube has simplified the design for a much cleaner look. There is noticeably more blank space, which makes the interface easier to navigate and is a sleeker, more modern look.

New YouTube Design 2017
I tested out the new design on my channel and I love the new look!
2) Endless Timeline – YouTube has finally caught up with all the other social platforms and introduced endless scrolling on the timeline, which means that you can discover new content more easily.

3) Dark Theme – YouTube is known for being white and red, however, a black version has been introduced to reduce strain on viewers’ eyes. In addition to reducing glare, the Dark Theme also lets you see true colours of the videos you watch. This is certain to be a favourite for many. To find out how to activate Dark Mode, click here.

Polymer Dark Theme
The YouTube interface using the Dark Theme. Source: The Verge
4) Faster Framework – The new framework, Polymer, was developed by Google and is an open-source JavaScript library for building web applications using web components. By using this, the new site has been designed for development optimisation, meaning that we can expect a lot more features being added a whole lot quicker.

“This is only the beginning — you can look forward to more powerful new features coming soon.” – Brian Marquardt (Product Lead at YouTube)

How Do I Get The New Design?

A major consideration for YouTube has consistently been to gain insights from its users and so they’re relying on feedback from the YouTube community before the new design is implemented across the board.

Although not available to everyone just yet, select groups of people from all parts of the world have been given a chance to preview the upcoming change. But if you’re just dying to try it out yourself, you can preview the new and improved site here.

YouTube is constantly innovating the platform with multiple new features being introduced in the last few months – arguably, the most notable additions being the Community Tab (September 2016) and YouTube Messenger (January 2017). The golden thread tying these developments together is the user experience, which very clearly demonstrates the core purpose of keeping users on YouTube for longer. With the implementation of the new framework, it will be interesting to see what changes the developers have in store for the near future, and whether or not it will lead to a significant change in the social media landscape.

References & Additional Reading

What Is YouTube Community?

Google is testing a new feature on YouTube called Community, which hopes to create a more ‘social’ network by encouraging more engagement without users having to leave the platform.

Although I was apprehensive at first about YouTube introducing Community, after the launch on 13 September 2016, I must admit I’m quite excited to see how the addition will change the platform.

VSauce Community Page
So far the new feature has been well received by the community as YouTubers have shared a number of posts, which have received an influx of engagement.

Although not available to the general public just yet, select YouTubers such as Vsauce3, AspSCIENCE, Peter Hollens, Sam Tsui, The Game Theorists, The Key of Awesome, Threadbanger, The Kloons, John & Hank Green, Karmin, Rosianna Halse Rojas and Lilly Singh have been given the opportunity to test the new Community tab, which is accessible to anyone who visits their channels.

What Is It?

Welcome to our Community Tab
I was first made aware that Community had launched after I received a notification on my phone informing me that AsapSCIENCE had their Community Tab.

Community is a new feature that allows YouTube to be more than just a video sharing platform. A new tab will be added to a channel where visitors can access a YouTuber’s feed and engage with them in a new way. In an attempt to make YouTube more social, this addition hopes to encourage feedback and interaction between uploaders and their audience. The launch of G+ in 2011 was Google’s first attempt at creating a viable social network to rival Facebook, which was an expensive failure for the brand. With the introduction of Community, Google hopes to make the user experience more seamless and allow for a more social community.

What this means for YouTubers is that YouTubers will now have the ability to upload photos, videos, gifs and share text post with their audience.

What this means for viewers is that you can engage with your favourite vlogger without leaving their channel. Fans can like and comment on posts, as well as receive notifications when a channel publishes a new update to the tab.

Community is in BETA phase at the moment, however, is expected to roll out in the next few months. So far, the response seems to be positive, however, YouTube will be monitoring the public’s response to add new features and functionality.

I’m excited to see how Community will add to the YouTube experience as a subscriber and as a vlogger, and whether or not it will impact any of the other social media platforms. My prediction is that Facebook and Twitter will be used by YouTubers as more of a marketing tool, and their Community feed will be used to connect with their audience on a more personal level. It’s certainly an interesting new venture and I’m sure we’ll all be watching this space.

Check out the Community tabs available on the above mentioned YouTuber’s channels and let me know your thoughts.