YouTube is 12 years old this year, and to celebrate, the site is giving itselfa facelift.
In 1995, YouTube was a single website that supported one video format: 320×240 at 4:3 aspect ratio. Fast forward to today, and YouTube supports SD, HD, 4K, 360, 3-D and live video on any device with an internet connection. YouTube Music, YouTube Gaming and YouTube TV all exist, while there’s also a YouTube Kids app and even the subscription-based YouTube Red membership.
In 2017, YouTube is going one step further with a brand new look.
“Over the last few months we’ve started releasing updates and will continue to throughout the rest of the year,” says YouTube in a blog post announcing the rollout of its updated interface. “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.”
To start with, the YouTube mobile app is getting a bunch of new features. These include a clean design that turns the header white and moves the navigation tabs to the bottom of the app to new Library and Account tabs that give you easy access to what you’re looking for; support for gestures (double tap on the left or right side of a video to fast forward or rewind 10 seconds), including a soon-to-be-launched feature that lets you jump between videos with a simple swipe of your hand; variable speed playback (bringing mobile devices in line with desktop videos); and an adaptive player that will change shape to match the video format you’re watching, such as vertical, square or horizontal.
“We’re also working on transforming the area below the player so you can browse videos in totally new ways,” teases YouTube.
This is complemented by a new desktop design, which rolls out this week, applying Material Design to YouTube and delivering a simpler interface, not to mention the recently unveiled Dark Theme, which turns the background dark while you watch for a more cinematic look.
All of this is underpinned by a new YouTube logo and icon, which uses a more flexible design that works better across a variety of devices, “even on the tiniest screens”.
A fan of the new look YouTube? Good news: it’s available immediately. Not a fan? Good news: you’ve probably got another 12 years to get used to it.