YouTube on Tuesday unveiled a set of updates that will make the video platform easier to use.
The new features include better control over audio and video, a more central location to find your contact, and visual improvements to the user interface both on the app, as well as on smart TVs. The features will roll out in the coming weeks.
The refresh is just the latest attempt to modernize and interface. While YouTube is the top destination for streaming video — by far — it still faces a competitive threat in TikTok, which has increasingly pulled away eyeballs, particularly among younger audiences.
The first area of updates involves how you experience YouTube. Videos on mobile devices will have their volume automatically tuned to “stable volume” to reduce jarrign differences in volume — such as between the content and the ads — for a better experience. You’ll also be able to press anywhere on the player to enable 2X playback mode — for when regular speed is just too slow for you.
YouTube will also feature bigger preview thumbnails while you browse for videos. Browsing within a video is easier too, with YouTube now letting you scrub the video with your finger and having it notify you with a little vibration when you hit the point where you began. It’s also rolling out a lock screen mode on mobile and tablets to prevent interruptions.
On the discovery front, YouTube is moving the content in the library tab and moving it to a central “You” tab, which will also be where your watch history, playlists, downloads and purchases will appear. That will begin appearing today on mobile, tablet and on the web.
You’ll also be able to better search for content by singing, playing or even humming a song. This feature, which employs artificial intelligence to recognize the song, will roll out in the next few weeks on Android devices.
YouTube is also rolling out more animations and visual cues for key moments in a video like when a creator asks to “like” or “subscribe.” The company added that top comments will also automatically rotate to give you an idea of the commentary from the community.
YouTube is also updating the experience for smart TVs, and on Tuesday said it would add quicker access to features like video details, comments and the subscribe button on a new vertical menu. Video chapters will also get rolled out on smart TVs platforms as well.
Photo credit: YouTube