A brand new YouTube interface has been launched by Google in an effort to make it more ‘TV-like’. The move comes as Google is tipped to launch expanded TV content service in Australia in an effort to compete with TV stations and recently launched content services from the likes of Telstra.The search company claims that it is now easier to find ‘channels’ from the front page, with a black navigation menu on the left hand side which allows users to organise channels, rather than simply search for video using Google search.
Observers claim that Google is attempting to ‘shift’ the way people use the site, with an increased focus on ‘Channels’ a clear attempt to mirror services offered by TV stations.
The new look for YouTube mirrors the redesign announced last week of Google’s home page. Its also aimed at seperating professional content from user generated content. There is a channel feed on the left hand side of screen encouraging users to ‘subscribe’ to their favourite YouTube channels and shows – which could mean a major boost to TV networks and individuals who have their own channels on the site.
And there are big Facebook and Google+ ‘buttons’ also in the left hand column so users can easily share and see content from the video site through to their choice of social network.
On the right hand side is a ‘Recommendations’ feed, which will suggest videos that users may like based on their current subscriptions and video-watching history.
The overall feel of the new YouTube is more like a social network, rather than a linear video site say observers.
‘With our announcement last month that more channels are coming to YouTube, we want to make it easier for you to find and keep tabs of what you want to watch,’ said the company via an announcement on the official Google blog.
According to Google, celebrities like Madonna prefer not to be next to user-generated content and have struck deals for their own channels with YouTube.
The search engine company said that three billion videos are viewed on YouTube every day.
The Daily Mail said that the new YouTube look comes after Google unveiled an experimental design in July called Cosmic Panda and used feedback from users to establish the finished appearance.
According to their official blog Google believe the new design provides a ‘simpler YouTube, with a consistent grey background, bigger video thumbnails and a more streamlined watch page.’Google also aims to offer more professional content on the site as they negotiate with movie companies for access to content.
The site started free live streaming of some content in March 2010.
‘DIY’ channels allow users to earn a percentage by signing up for Google’s ‘Partner’ programme, where they earn some of the advertising revenue generated by the site.
The changes follow a move earlier this year when the site launched 100 new professionally produced TV channels in partnership with stars such as singer Madonna and actor Ashton Kutcher.
Google says that the new channels will be on-demand services, each offering 25 hours of programming a day.
The arrangement should work in YouTube’s favour when it comes to advertising.
Many big-ticket advertisers are relucant to be seen alongside ‘user-generated’ videos, and would be happier with professionally produced, star-studded content.
YouTube is said to be paying up to $100million for producers to take part, and up to $5million per channel.
The money is an advance on advertising money – Google will recoup its portion first before splitting the proceeds.
Google also aims to make the site more ‘social’ – even allowing users to share via Facebook, rather than their own, less popular Plus Network.
‘You can even link your YouTube account to Google+ and Facebook to see what your friends are sharing,’ said YouTube.