YouTube recently announced a series of changes to its format to give it a cleaner, more vibrant design. And these changes should be useful for many creators who use YouTube for how-to videos and other demos.
New features on YouTube improve the video watching experience
The changes should improve the video viewing experience, but could also affect how creators create their videos to maximize the usefulness of some of the new features. For example, the new zoom feature will be especially useful in how-to videos and demos – two video formats that are often favored by businesses providing content to their customers.
The changes have already started rolling out and will be phased in over the next few weeks.
Modernizing YouTube with innovation
Introducing the latest changes, YouTube’s Chief Product Officer Neal Mohan said: “When the first video was uploaded to YouTube in 2005, YouTube had a search bar and a list of video brands on its home page. Since then, you could say we’ve gone through quite a few changes. In this latest installment of our Innovation series, we’re sharing a design update that will make YouTube more modern and bring new features to the YouTube experience you know and love.”
Some of the more immediately visible changes will be the look of YouTube. There are new rich color schemes and an ambient mode that uses dynamic color sampling. The mode creates a subtle effect so that the background color of the application adapts to the video being played. The dark theme has also been darkened so that the colors of the video “really pop”.
Other aesthetic changes include YouTube links in video descriptions becoming buttons, as well as Like, Share, and Download features that are formatted to minimize distractions. The Subscribe button is now white and has been redesigned and moved to a more convenient location.
Perhaps more interesting for small business creators are two new actions that viewers can take advantage of during the video, in the form of the new Pinch to Zoom and Precise Seeking functions.
Pinch to zoom
The new Pinch to Zoom feature allows users to easily zoom in and out of a video on their iOS or Android phone. The video stays zoomed in even after the user releases it, allowing the user to enjoy the video in more detail without holding the zoom in place as required for an Instagram post.
This new feature can affect how creators create their videos, knowing that the viewer can zoom in to see more details. Creators can also include prompts for viewers to zoom in, which provides a much more dynamic experience when watching similar videos, such as how-to videos.
The new Precise Seeking feature is an improvement on other recent improvements to video navigation that YouTube has introduced. It allows the viewer to quickly find the parts that interest them the most. Viewers can long-press anywhere on the player to find the part they want, and double-tap with two fingers to skip a chapter.
Helpful for creators, YouTube has also added a graph that shows the most played moments in a video. This can help creators improve their videos by letting them know which parts of older videos viewers still need to replay.
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