Over the years The YouTube interface, both in its browser version and in the apps for Android and iOS, has undergone a more than remarkable evolution. As always happens in these cases, having been seeing the changes progressively, it can give the feeling that it has not been that much, but if we do a memory exercise we will find that the jump has been more than considerable.
Some changes that have also affected their “guts” (remember that, for many years, it was based on Flash). In case you don’t remember it, or you didn’t experience it at the time, here’s an image that shows what YouTube’s home page looked like in 2005. Unfortunately, archive.org doesn’t keep the thumbnails of the videos, but even so, it’s useful to make a quite concrete idea and, above all, to compare with its current interface:
Over the years, YouTube has managed to become the reference service, to the point of having hosted the birth of the figure of youtuber, which has turned out to be so successful over the years. But of course, staying in the highest position is not easy, and it gets even more complicated if the evolution of the market and its users is added to the competition in your specific field of activity, as we have experienced in recent years, seeing how many content creators went from uploading videos to broadcasting on directly through other platforms. Quite a complex challenge.
And this gets even more complicated when we talk about the need to monetize the service. As we told you a few days ago, the company has decided to raise the price of YouTube Premium in some countries, after considering (and later ruling out) limiting 4K content to paid accounts. In the classic carrot and stick analogy, some sticks have been added, so it was imperative that the company offer, shortly, some carrot.
And, as we can read on his blog, this has been the case. and it is that YouTube has given a good facelift to its interface, adding some very interesting novelties and that also, it seems, will reach all users of the service, not just those of YouTube Premium.
The most interesting novelty is that Android and iOS apps will finally allow “pinch” to zoom in videos. This function has been in demand for years by many users, who have been using it with their photographs for more than a decade. If we zoom in that way, we won’t have to hold our hand on the screen for it to hold. We can remove it and continue to see the part of the video that we have zoomed in on.
Another function that substantially improves the search, with precise search mode, available on both devices and desktop. With it, we will only have to drag or slide up the playback bar to display a row of thumbnails with fine adjustment, which will allow us to move exactly to the moment of the video that we want.
Another very interesting novelty, and that in fact I am wanting to try, is the ambient mode. When this is activated, a dynamic sampling of the content that is being shown in the video is produced and, automatically, a subtle color correction is applied to the interface, so that it dynamically adapts to the video content that is being viewed. showing. Something reminiscent of Philips Ambilight technology, only without leaving the device.
On the other hand, YouTube also claims to have improved its dark modewhat time is it “even darker“, which will provide a greater contrast with both the video and the elements of the interface that should stand out.
There are also changes to how common interface elements are displayed, from links in video descriptions, which will now be displayed as buttons, to controls for frequent actions (Like, Share, etc.), which have been redesigned to reduce their visual impact and, therefore, do not detract from the video.
Although all these updates have been announced today, the rollout of them will be progressive, so it is possible that we still have to wait a few days, maybe even a week, to start enjoying them. However, and in the absence of trying them, on paper it seems that the wait will be worth it.