Google's new wave of interface changes have spread across their most popular applications, including Gmail, Google + and now YouTube. The new changes to the video-hosting platform seem to focus on promotion of channels and social sharing, as well as better incorporate ads and sponsored content (aimed to enhance profitability). In my opinion, the changes are moving in the right direction.
Over the past year there's been a clear push towards product integration of Google's major products while discontinuing some underachievers in the product family (ie: Buzz, Wave, Knol, etc.). Google + has been a major influence on the new changes which are aimed to incorporate content sharing within the Google network. The newest YouTube changes are integrating social sharing and the new Google "look" into the interface and functionality.
Homepage: Layout & Focus
- Sidebar: offers (logged-in users) subscribed channels, YouTube trends and suggested channels
- Banner Ad (top): a large interactive banner ad
- Middle Section: videos pulled from subscribed channels and Google + (your connections' channels/postings)
- Right Section: recommendations, plus spotlight and featured videos/ads
The new beige-speckled/tan-ish background is visually pleasing and the overall design better accents the videos, ads and navigation elements.
- Pretty Similar Layout: minor changes
- Sharing: added Facebook, Twitter and Google + syndication buttons, as well as the email and embed buttons
- Ad Deployment: similar delivery
- Subscribed Videos: enhanced footer navigation of channel videos
Not much has changed when viewing videos, but the layout seems cleaner and more compact. The related videos/ad bar on the right seems a little slimmer and tends to show the larger 300px by 250px banner ad in the upper-right hand section. Overall, the facade overhaul is welcomed. There is nothing too major to report, but Google definitely feels the need to adapt to "Web 3.0" standards since they haven't had a major overhaul to their prized video platform since its acquisition. I dig the results thus far.