Over the past year Google has been overhauling all of it’s services graphically, and most of the changes came over the Spring and Summer. One notable exception has been YouTube, which hasn’t received the Google+ theme. Until today.
Besides a graphic update to match the Google+ theme of sharp, flat colors and clean design, YouTube is receiving new functionality as well. Not surprisingly, Google+ will be much more heavily integrated, letting users recommend videos to friends from Google+, similar to Facebook’s Like mechanism.
Additionally the video sizing buttons have been changed to help users more easily choose between all three (default, large, and fullscreen). Finally the homepage has been reworked, moving content into an easier to use single column.
However, between when I started writing this and now, the new design has disappeared, and YouTube is appearing for me as it has for the past year, white background and original favicon. Are you seeing the new design? Leave a comment. Check out the update highlights below:
- Deeper Google+ integration shows off YouTube content your Circles have shared to Google+, letting you surf user-recommended videos from people you might actually care about.
- New left-column dashboard sorts your Subscriptions and more into easily-clickable sections, including featured videos and recommended content categories.
- Homepage content will be displayed in a single column, putting a focus on larger preview images for videos.
- A slight color scheme tweak (new gray background) highlights content.
- The “fullscreen” button in actual YouTube videos will receive a more user-friendly update, giving viewers the option to shrink, expand or, yes, fullscreen the video.
- Recommended video content pops out when clicked, allowing you to easily exit to where you last were before clicking after viewing.
- Clicking the YouTube logo on the top left of the site will lead to http://www.youtube.com/guide.
- YouTube’s favicon will also be switched out for an updated version.