YouTube, PewDiePie

The occasion of YouTube’s 12th birthday on Monday was marked with a slew of new announcements by the company. Along with a re-haul of its mobile website, YouTube has also launched a bunch of brand new features including a new dark mode and an updated theater mode that allows you to watch videos in a larger setting without having to go full screen.

The amount of effort put int this update can be envisioned from the fact that the entire website has been rebuilt upon Polymer. What is Polymer? Well, it is an open-source JavaScript library that was introduced at the Google I/O conference  a few years ago and that allowed users to create re-usable web components. Developers started rebuilding YouTube last year and now, we have a site built upon Polymer.

Speaking on the topic,  Manuel Bronstein, VP of Product Management at YouTube said:

Things that get built once can then be reapplied more quickly. It’s less about a particular feature, and it’s more about the velocity of which things can be brought to market. This then enables us to explore and then do more things.

This was also what allowed a quick development of the Dark Theme. Earlier, users were required to change a slew of settings in order to access it. However, it is now available as a simple switch without making you run through all those hoops.

As far as the changes brought about by material design implementation are concerned, here you go:

  • The left-side navigational elements can now be made to disapear with single click on the hamburger menu.
  • You can now keep scrolling down and continue receiving recommendations without any end.
  • Channel pages now feature larger, more vivid content.
  • Navigational elements within Channel are significantly larger and easier to navigate through.
  • While watching a video on a channel, theater mode is slightly larger and comes with a black background.
  • Subscribe button is more prominent and shows up right at the top when a channel corresponding to your search query pops up.

Apart from all these changes, the over all experience could feel just a tad faster to you. Everything is optional so you can either opt-in to check out the new look by visiting youtube.com/new, or you can go back to the old one by selecting “Restore classic YouTube” from your Account Menu. Don’t be worried if you are not able to witness the changes right away though, as YouTube is likely to keep some sort of a tab on how many people are able to access the new website.

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