The hugely popular video-sharing Web site YouTube unveiled a redesigned interface Thursday, as part of its efforts to boost viewership, according to a report by Reuters.
The new look, which will be visible to more than 800 million monthly users worldwide, is the biggest renovation in the five years since Google Inc. acquired the site for a reported sum of $1.65 billion. The new interface has been adapted to offer a more television-like experience, centered on channels rather than one-off videos.
The changes have been designed to make it easier for users to view their preferred channels and organize content systematically. It is hoped that the television format will encourage users to visit the site often and stay longer. The targeted goal is to double the average length of a user's session to 30 minutes or more, according to Noam Lovinsky, a Group Product manager.
We're trying to take the best of what we see in TV and the best of online and bring it together, Shishir Mehrotra, vice president of product development, said from YouTube's California headquarters.
In addition, users can also display favourite videos by personalizing their home pages; the earlier stark white design has been swapped for a Cosmic Panda grey. It is now also possible to monitor videos posted by friends on social network Web sites, including Facebook and Google+, with the most popular videos and recommendations rounding out the list.
The Web site also launched a customized version for Microsoft's Xbox video game console; selecting a video will launch it on your television screens, which will result in better picture display in comparison to the current Google TV devices.
Senior executives at YouTube indicated that year-over-year revenue had doubled every year since 2009, just as traffic, much of it from mobile phones, passing through the Web site exploded to more than 400 million views per day - double the 200 million views at the start of 2011. YouTube now receives 48 hours of video uploads every minute.
News of the makeover comes on the heels of an announcement in October of a massive $100 million investment in original video programming deals with major media houses.