This is the second entry of our series about the changes at Google and Larry Page are making a lot of changes as we head into 2012. Decide for yourself if they are still following the “Don’t be Evil” mantra.
Read the first post in the series here: The New Google. Does “Don’t be Evil” Still Apply? – Part 1
YouTube Homepage Makeover
The new redesign, which YouTube describes as the biggest redesign in history, is a move to personalize the user experience on the site as well as better integration with social media services. Plus if that wasn’t enough, Google has changed the focus of the site to a channel centric experience, which puts them in competition with broadcast and cable tv.
When you first log in you’ll notice that the homepage is focused around channels and the “homepage feed.” The feed contains the channels that a user is subscribed to, which can contain channels such official music from the Warner Music Group, video hobbyists or branded channels. Users can control what is in their feed with the navigation bar on the left and recommended videos and ads populate the right column. It looks very similar to social media sites such as Facebook.
Also found in the left column is a list of “Suggested Channels” including a “Featured” listing where companies can have their channels displayed f Users can also link their Google+ and Facebook accounts to see what their friends are sharing. The new look and the prominence of G+ in homepage is further evidence to Google’s push Google+ across all platforms.
YouTube is also adding original content. The new channel centric YouTube creates a way for the platform to promote the new offerings they have set up with some major stars including Madonna, Jay-Z, Shaquille O’Neal and “CSI” creator Anthony Zuiker.
The redesign revamped channels which put an emphasis on Brand Channels. Brand Channels are a great way for users to interact with the brands they love. As a Brand you can customize to match your brand’s look and feel. For this, YouTube has added new templates:
- Creator Template A featured video from a playlist with a group of featured playlists
- Blogger Template A reverse chronological vlogroll of a featured playlist or your recent activity
- Network Template A featured video from a playlist with a group of featured channels
- Everything Template A featured video from a playlist with a group of featured playlists and channels
Each template comes with a feed tab that contains that can contain any of the following actions from the channel owner: Liking, commenting, uploading or favoriting a video, as well as adding a video to a playlist or subscribing to another channel. We also expect to see more social features introduced in the future.
Some other exciting features of the new channels include comment approval, control over who can comment, filter videos that show on your channel, playlists, gadgets that you can use for contests, games and downloads that revolve around your brand, custom tabs, and much more.
To complete the circle YouTube has also beefed up their analytics offering for YouTube analytics so you can track “how”, “why” and “why” people are interacting with your brand’s channel. The look and feel will definitely remind you of Google Analytics and you can track many familiar metrics such as:
- Unique views
- Geographic breakdowns
- Traffic sources
What’s really exciting though are the engagement metrics that are available:
- Track playback location (YouTube watch page, Embedded player on other websites, etc)
- Discover what videos drive subscriptions
- Analyze likes, dislikes and favorites by channel, video, geography and region
- Track audience retention and attention levels
- And much more
As you can see Google is going through an exciting time right now. The changes, updates and new products are coming fast, and we haven’t seen them be this aggressive in sometime. I expect 2012 to be an exciting year for working with Google.
If you have any questions about any of the new updates and how your company can take advantage of them, please let me know and we can see what options are the best fit for you.