YouTube Making Subtle Updates
Not sure how many people have been on YouTube in the past few days (guessing a few million, but that’s just an estimate). But, if you have, you’ll notice that YouTube has made some small updates to the flash player that has made them so popular and to some additional social sharing.
The first and really the most notable update is the addition of Facebook Connect (which I must have stumbled upon a beta page because I’m not seeing it on every video). Although, the experience I had was a little different from the Connect experience I’ve had elsewhere. On other sites I can login into their system using my Facebook account information. On YouTube I logged in with my Google/YouTube account and it passed the information to my Facebook account. Apparently this gives me access to my friends’ shared information and vice versa.
This is an important distinction because it opens up our social graph to a much wider array of shared information, but Google is not bowing to Facebook like so many other sites have using Connect. Google is retaining their account structure (which of course gives you access to gmail, docs, calendars, etc.).
The other update is the player skin itself. Newer videos, or HD videos, not sure, but some random videos have this new skin.
Although it’s not a huge change, it does clean up the viewing area a bit. Updates include a translucent video timeline, less distraction from menu options appearing over the viewing area, and of course the Facebook integration. Channel options have expanded as well for those of us that have dedicated YouTube channels, allowing for a bit more custom control over the layout, colors and themes.
Google and the YouTube folks have been consistently making updates to the advertising opportunities on the site, messing with pre-roll, mid-roll, post-roll, overlays and all the other generally accepted video ad placements.