Thursday, December 1, 2011

New Channels, new homepage, new look

A couple of weeks ago we gave you all a preview of our new Channel redesign, and a chance to play around with it before we shared it with the broader YouTube community. Today’s the day that we’re making this new design available to anyone with a YouTube Channel, as well as making some other site changes that you can read about below. We believe that behind every great video is a great Channel, and all of these changes are designed to encourage people to get to know your Channel a whole lot better and to watch more of your videos as a result.

New Channels design
First up, new Channels design! You can review the main changes being made here. To opt your Channel into the new design, click the blue “Try the new design” button on the top of your Channel page. Once you’ve opted your channel in, your Channel and its new design will be public to other users. You can switch back to the old Channels design by clicking the “Switch Back” button in the appearance tab of the Edit Channel menu on your new Channel. You can switch back and forth as many times as you like, and whichever version you’re opted into is the version that will be public. If you’re still playing around with the new Channels design, you can stay with the old one while you sort things out, but in a few months, we will be bringing everyone over to the new design.

Since we previewed the new design with you all, we’ve seen a number of spiffy new Channels, like TheCraftyGemini, BarelyPolitical, FinalCutKing, ClevverTV, and DeStorm - you can click through on those links to see how the new designs look. Some partners also made videos about the features of the new Channels that are working well for them - click here to view the playlist.

So what does this mean for you?
The main action here is to work on setting up your Channel in the new formats, as more and more YouTube visitors will come to expect the new look. As we said, you’ll have a few months before you have to make the change, but it’s great to be ahead of the game. You can check out the full list of things to do at the Help Center.

Along with the new Channels design being made available to everyone on the site, we’re also making a couple of other important changes today.

A new homepage
To help viewers get more into YouTube, we’re making it easier for people to find and follow Channels when they arrive on the homepage.

On the left side of the homepage people can create their personal, customizable YouTube Channel line-up. To start creating your own, sign in, or create a YouTube account. Then, click on ‘Add Channels’, and subscribe to the Channels that appeal to you. The center homepage feed is also a great way to discover and explore new content. You can link your YouTube account to Google+ and other social networks to see what your friends are sharing, and can switch between feeds by clicking on different Channels on the left.

For step-by-step instructions on the new YouTube homepage, go to our Help Center.

So what does this mean for you?
Subscriptions - these were always important … they’re now more important than ever before. As people set up their new home pages they’ll be reviewing the subscriptions they have and considering new ones, so be sure to keep encouraging people to subscribe, and making it worth their while to do so.
Upload regularly - when people add new Channel subscriptions, they’ll see how often you upload (your average number of videos per week), so remember to program consistently and regularly so you’ll appeal to people who want a regular delivery of great videos.
Create the killer feed for your subscribers - videos that you like and favorite and put into playlists will be even more prominent to your subscribers as part of their feed, so take care in your site activity and think about the overall experience you’re creating for them - it’s about more than just the videos you upload.

A new overall design
To bring the new homepage and Channels designs together, we’ve also applied a fresh coat of digital paint across the whole site. In July, we unveiled an experimental design called Cosmic Panda. We’ve used your feedback to improve our overall design, and today, we’re presenting a cleaner and simpler YouTube, with a consistent background, bigger video thumbnails, and a cleaner watch page.

So what does this mean for you?
This won’t change your day-to-day experience on the site very much, but of course, we hope it’s something that encourages people to stay on the site for longer to watch more of your great videos.

You’ll see all these changes today when you visit YouTube.com, and we’ve put together an instruction manual (and video) to help.

A new Analytics experience
As we announced yesterday, we built a brand new YouTube Analytics tool (formerly YouTube Insight) that you can reach inside of your account or at youtube.com/analytics.

So what does this mean for you?
This new tool is much simpler to use than Insight, and lets you compare more statistics than ever before to help build bigger and more engaged audiences, earn more money, and make better videos.

We’re always innovating and testing new stuff out to make the experience the best it can be for you. We rely on your feedback to figure out when we've gotten it right and when it needs further tweaks. So let us know what you think in the blue feedback link on the bottom right of YouTube.com. We’ll be closely monitoring this forum, and also reading the comments on this blog.

Everyone responds to change differently ;-) When we make significant changes like this it’s hard to please everyone, but we really believe that they will benefit the entire YouTube community over time, and allow us to remain a place for you to be successful in your YouTube careers. Here’s to a great 2012 for all of you.

The YouTube team
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