launched a streamlined video player and redesigned video pages. The new video pages give YouTube a more minimalist and streamlined look, with a stronger focus on the video. For now, these new features are opt-in only. It is not clear when Google plans to make this new design the default theme for YouTube.YouTube just
New Video Pages
As Google emphasized in the announcement today, the new pages put the video at the center of the experience. The new video pages are very stripped down and somewhat reminiscent of the YouTube "Feather" experiment Google launched last December.
The description of the currently playing video has moved underneath the video, leaving more space on the sidebar for related videos or a list of other videos in the current playlist. The new pages also put a larger emphasis on related videos.
If you start a search on YouTube while a video is playing, the results will appear right on the same page without interrupting the video that is currently playing. Search results appear on the right side of the screen, while the video continues to play in a smaller player on the left side of the page.
Improved Video Player
The player itself has also been redesigned. You can now switch between different player sizes. Switching between different video qualities (SD, HD or 1080p) is now done through a drop-down menu.
New Ratings System
YouTube also did away with the old ratings system. Instead of rating a video on a 1 to 5 star scale, YouTube moved to a "Like/Don't Like" model. According to Google, YouTube's users only gave 1 and 5 star reviews to videos anyway and skipped over the intermediate ratings.
What do You Think?
To us, the new pages are a welcome departure from the crowded old YouTube pages. What do you think? Is this a step forward for YouTube or will it be a failed experiment?