If you had occasion to open YouTube today and assuming that you weren’t completely engrossed in what you were watching, you may have remarked to yourself ‘Is it just me or does YouTube look a bit different today’.
Well, in that case, let us set your mind at rest. YouTube has indeed rolled out a brand new update for its website, after almost four months of testing.
The brand new update, takes the form of a new HTML5 player that comes with enhanced viewing and control options. The most noticeable change — and the one you spot right away — is the control bar, which has been made much less substantial and which disappears while you are busy watching the video.
The one thing that springs to mind while watching the new video player in action is the fact that it looks to have drawn quite a bit of inspiration from YouTube’s mobile player. The player also features buttons which are larger than what they were before the update. The ‘Watch Later’ button has also been removed, which personally speaking makes no difference at all, since I never used it anyways.
Image : TechCrunch // New player on top, Old Player Bottom
While the updates may not sound like much, YouTube is probably looking to enhance the overall consumer experience in face of increasing usage to make sure that users stick to the ‘Old that is still Gold’.
Consumer leanings certainly point to the same direction as YouTube recorded a growth in “watch time” on of up to 60 percent year-over-year. Similarly, the reason for the mobili-fication of the Web player may also be found in the consumer tendencies which state that on mobile, YouTube’s average sessions run for over 40 minutes, an increase of more than 50 percent over last year.
Add to it the past update, which saw videos expanding so as to better fill the display of mobile devices thanks to how users prefer holding their phones while recording videos, YouTube seems to be taking consumer experience very seriously.
Well, that should certainly give Facebook and other competing video provider services something to worry about.