If you’ve been to YouTube in the past 24 hours you probably noticed it looks different. The site has launched its second redesign in as many years. According to the site’s blog, the new design is meant to help “find the channels you love and subscribe, subscribe, subscribe.”
YouTube has always been good at suggesting content based on videos watched. The new look adds a mechanism to keep promoting channel subscriptions. That’s likely related to the $100 million fund the site and its parent company Google created to help creators develop premium content. YouTube recently reaffirmed their commitment to that fund, renewing many of the shows it helped launch earlier this year.
The new look and functions translate to other platforms as well including mobile, PlayStation 3 and Google TV. Overall it’s a much cleaner setup that makes YouTube’s recommendations –both videos and channels – what visitors primarily see on their home page. A recommended playlist also now stays on the screen even while watching a video. Yet although the feature is meant to encourage browsing with a video playing, it could use an improvement. The playlist doesn’t scroll independently, which means scrolling below the fold moves the video out of view.
Separately, YouTube announced a partnership with Virgin America that brings a selection of its programs to in-flight entertainment for the first time. Starting in mid-December, passengers on Virgin airline flights in the US and Mexico will be able to watch content from YouTube channels H+ The Digital Series, WIGS’ Blue, Geek & Sundry’s Written By a Kid, Crash Course and Barely Political’s The Key of Awesome.