You would be forgiven for thinking your internet browser had turned into a television today, after YouTubes redesign is now available to all.
Unlike parent company Google, which tends to roll out redesigns over a period of days, YouTube pressed the button and switched the homepage for every user worldwide at 4:30 p.m on Thursday 1st December.
So whats the change all about? One word: channels. The worlds most popular online video service now sees itself as a descendent of cable TV, with millions of channels rather than hundreds – and theyre working hard to encourage you to use it that way.
“The future of the YouTube experience has channels at the center of it,” says Margaret Stewart, director of User Experience at YouTubes headquarters in San Bruno, California. “It’s a container for all the worlds video, and it needs to be the best home for that.”
YouTube is also tweaking the colors of its logo and adding a soft grey background to the videos. In a sign that the service is becoming more integrated with its parent company – as we see begin to see YouTubes subtle alignments with Googles visual style. Part of that process, naturally, includes integration with the Google+ social network. But YouTube is also making it easier to post videos on Facebook and Twitter.
There are four new channel templates that content creators can use, including one template designed for networks (with prominent featured content) and one for bloggers (with the most recent content first). Executives and designers at the company emphasize that this just the beginning of the redesign; more channel-focused changes and channel templates are coming soon.
Is this the beginning of the end for the humble television?