When YouTube launched 12 years ago, it was a single website that supported one video format, 320×240 at 4:3 aspect ratio. Fast forward to today, and YouTube lets you watch any combination of SD, HD, 4K, 360, 3-D, and live video on nearly every device with an internet connection – from desktops to phones, tablets to TVs, game consoles, and even VR headsets.
We’ve also introduced apps and services that give you new ways to watch and get even closer to the content and creators you love. Music fans, gamers, and TV lovers each have unique experiences specifically tailored for their favorite content with YouTube Music, YouTube Gaming and YouTube TV. For families looking for the best way to watch together, we launched the YouTube Kids app. And for fans who want an uninterrupted, ad-free experience, and exclusive original content from creators, there’s the YouTube Red membership.
To put it simply, YouTube’s evolved … a lot. And we’re not even close to done. Over the last few months we’ve started releasing updates and will continue to throughout the rest of the year. When all is said and done, we’ll bring a new level of functionality and a more consistent look across our desktop and mobile experiences.
Let’s start with the YouTube mobile app, which is getting a bunch of new features:
Looking beyond the YouTube app, we’ve also been working on a new desktop design. And thanks to all the positive feedback, we’re now excited to make it available to all our users around the globe starting today! Our new look applies Material Design to YouTube and delivers a fresh, simple and intuitive user experience that lets content shine – because there’s nothing more important than the creators and videos we all love to watch. My favorite feature of this new desktop design is Dark Theme, which turns the background dark while you watch for a more cinematic look.
The bright red cherry on top of this update sundae is a refreshed YouTube Logo and YouTube Icon. Designed for our multi-screen world, the updated Logo combines a cleaned up version of the YouTube wordmark and Icon, creating a more flexible design that works better across a variety of devices, even on the tiniest screens. Why’s it more flexible? When room is limited (say on a smartphone) you can use the brightened up Icon as an abbreviated Logo, which will be seen more easily and read more clearly. You’ll see the new Logo and Icon roll out across mobile and desktop today, and across all our other apps and services soon.
We know this is a lot of change, but we want to make clear that there’s one thing that stays the same: YouTube’s mission. We’re here to give people a voice and show them the world – no matter what device they use.
Neal Mohan, Chief Product Officer, recently watched “YouTube: What will you watch next?“
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YouTube is where you come to watch your favorite creators — whether that means jamming with Alex Aiono, gaming with Strawburry17, or hanging out with Logan Paul. That’s why we’re working on a redesign of the desktop experience that highlights your favorite videos and creators while making YouTube easier and more fun to use.
Starting today, we’re opening up a preview of the new design to a small group of people from all around the world so we can get feedback. While we hope you’ll love what we’ve been working on, we’re also really excited to involve the YouTube community so we can make the site even better before sharing it more broadly.
We’re applying Material Design to YouTube to deliver a beautiful, delightful and intuitive user experience. The key principles of this new design are:
The site design is built on a new, faster framework named Polymer, which enables quicker feature development from here on out. And today, we are introducing one of the first new features developed on Polymer: Dark Theme. Developed to cut down on glare and let you take in the true colors of the videos you watch, Dark Theme turns your background dark throughout your entire YouTube experience. This is only the beginning — you can look forward to more powerful new features coming soon!
If you want to try out YouTube’s latest look, you can opt-in to preview the new design at youtube.com/new. You can return to the current design by selecting “Restore classic YouTube” from the Account Menu. And don’t forget to send us feedback from the Account Menu.
We’re still working on the new site, so we hope you’ll try it out now and let us know what you think!
Brian Marquardt, Product Manager, recently watched “Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen/PIKO-TARO.”
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Do you remember life before the Old Spice Man? Or the epic split that launched a thousand splits? Since launching our skippable TrueView video ads five years ago, we’ve had countless iconic moments from brands on YouTube. That’s because with our introduction of ads you can skip, brands have amped up their game and created videos that feel less like ads and more like content you want to watch. In fact, last year four of the top 10 trending videos of the year were created by brands.
To celebrate our fifth anniversary of our skippable TrueView ads, we’re bringing you back to 2010, with a look at the top five trending ads on YouTube from five years ago. Do you remember them all?
1) DC Shoes: “Ken Block’s Gymkhana THREE, Part 2; Ultimate Playground; l’Autodrome, France
DC Shoes took us behind the wheel with Ken Block on a track with banks as steep as 51 degrees—more than double the incline of most racecar tracks!
2) Old Spice: The Man Your Man Could Smell Like
In 2010, Old Spice took the web by storm with their ‘The Man Your Man Could Smell Like’ campaign. Even funnier were the resulting real-time conversations that ensued with celebrities like Alyssa Milano.
3) Red Bull: Danny MacAskill – Way Back Home
Two years before Felix Baumgartner jumped from the stratosphere, Red Bull was still leading the charge on creating breathtaking HD ads.
4) Old Spice: Questions
The “Old Spice Man” became so popular that two of his videos were among the five most popular of the year – totalling nearly 75M views of both ads combined.
5) Tippex: NSFW. A hunter shoots a bear.
We’d be remiss not to give a shout-out to Tippex, who made white-out, of all products, a YouTube hit with their incredibly clever play on “choose your own adventure, YouTube style” in this ad.
But 2010 was just a starting point for great videos from brands. We’ve seen more creativity from brands on YouTube over the past five years, and as a result we’re watching more. In fact, the top 100 brands are now generating 42 percent more views per month on YouTube, according to Pixability.1 And we’re seeing great growth in new advertisers adopting video ads on YouTube–the number of advertisers using TrueView grew 45 percent in 20142 and all of the top 100 global brands have run TrueView video ads over the past year.3
To check out some of the most memorable ads on YouTube, take a look at our Iconic Ad Moments on YouTube playlist.
We look forward to see what brands will come up with this year!
David Kagan, Product Marketing Manager, recently watched “Volvo LifePaint.”
1. Pixability Top 100 Brands report, March 2015; compares data from Feb 2014 to Feb 2015. Top 100 brands defined by Interbrand Top 100 Global Brands list.
2. YouTube global data, 2014. Top 100 brands defined by Interbrand Top 100 Global Brands list.
3. YouTube global data, 2013 vs. 2014