Changes to YouTube over the past year

Samantha Parish

Samantha Parish
February 20, 2013

Most everyone knows about YouTube–a website where individuals can post, view, and comment on videos. As the site becomes more popular, updates and layout changes are more frequent, sometimes to users’ dismay. While many updates receive extremely positive or extremely negative responses, some are hardly noticeable to the average viewer. If you haven’t noticed them, here’s a list of some of the largest changes that have happened to YouTube over the last year:

1. A complete front page redesign. Now, all videos from people you are subscribed to,  along with the user’s activity (likes, comments, etc.) come in a stream on your home page. The redesign initially caused confusion, but by adjusting settings, most people were able to get a hold of the system. However there is a recurring problem involving content not being posted to the feed.

2. More of a connection to Google. After Google bought YouTube, there were changes to the site, most notably being able to sign in with your Gmail instead of a YouTube account. This allowed anyone with a gmail to automatically become a member of the YouTube community and, most recently, change their username to their actual name.

3. Video formatting. The video pages have greatly changed recently, the titles to videos are now underneath the screen, the screen has three sizes (standard, a slightly larger screen, and full-size), the like bar has changed from a color scheme of green and red to green (like) and gray (dislike), and the drop down window showing other videos from the Tuber that you are currently watching has disappeared. A side bar that allows you to view your subscriptions and other recommended videos has been added.

4. Channel Layouts. Not all channels have received this makeover, but those that have look similar to the Facebook Timeline mixed with the Google homepage. To see more, click here.

5. Communication between users via comments. The comment section on videos has changed slightly, allowing for people to easily see comment threads, and changing the reply system from using @(username) (similar to Twitter or when tagging somebody in a post on Facebook), to a standard “hit reply to reply to this comment” system. This however causes problems for mobile users, as there is no reply button, making it virtually impossible to respond to others.

6. The launch of an all new YouTube app. The app functions much better than before, allowing for live-links in the description of videos, making ads on certain videos mandatory, and enforcing the previously-unchecked age restriction so that not everyone can see flagged videos.

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