More Details About YouTube’s Relaunch

YouTube (s GOOG) just shared a few more details about its video page relaunch, which is scheduled to go live this evening. The relaunch is based on a number of features the site has been trying out over the last couple of months, which include a cleaner page design, advanced features for managing your video queue and an autoplay feature to keep its clips coming. Representatives from YouTube said during a conference call with reporters that they’ve seen video views rise 6 percent during trials and that they hope to keep up that rate of growth with the site-wide relaunch.

One of the biggest issues addressed with the relaunch is the comment section, which has been kind of unruly at times. The new design doesn’t feature comments in reverse chronological order anymore, but highlights video responses as well as comments left by the uploader in order to enable a dialogue between video producers and their audience. YouTube representatives compared this with “the front page of a newspaper” during the conference call.

Here’s a quick list of the most obvious changes aside from the comment section:

  • The masthead of the page is cleaned up, with various links to channel and show pages gone.
  • A drop-down menu above the video reveals a horizontal scroll bar offering access to all videos of a particular uploader.
  • A new subscription button as well as a customizable logo above the video is supposed to offer uploaders more recognition.
  • The grey box next to the video that used to offer info, URL and embed code is gone. There’s now an embed button below each video, along with other sharing options. Info about the clip is also right below the actual video.
  • The five-star rating system is gone. Most users apparently only used it to make fairly binary choices, voting on a video with either one or five stars, so the new video page simply features a thumbs-up and a thumbs-down button to express likes and dislikes.
  • Logged-in users find an option to control their video queue right next to the video they’re currently watching, complete with an option to turn autoplay on or off.
  • Users that haven’t logged in simply get to see a really, really long list of clips.

You can check out how the new video page compares to the old one in these two screenshots YouTube shared with us below, starting with the existing design:

And here’s the new design:

YouTube has been making some serious efforts to monetize its site, most recently introducing self-serve advertising for banner overlays. Today’s changes show that the site hasn’t forgotten about growing its video views, either. YouTube is currently seeing more than a million video playbacks per day. A 6 percent increase could add close to 2 billion additional views per month.

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