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They are well on their way to making 2013 the “Year of Youtube” with yet another redesign, but this one seems set to stay!

Available to all users after a trial to a select few (with full roll-out to brands in the Summer), the new look layout is one that is suited to all devices, as the trend for its use on mobile and tablet rockets day by day (and one that will only ever increase for many years to come…)

“So what is really new?!” we hear you cry – and for good reason! At first glance, it may not seem aesthetically all that different, but once you start exploring and engaging, there is a lot more that meets the eye. We have put together the 5 key things you need to know about YouTube’s new look.

youtube channel design

#1 Layout.

First things first, here is the low-down with the new layout.

The customizable background is no more, however now in its place is “Content Art”. This is a photo banner that automatically resizes depending on the browser and device used to view it. Not only will this improve your brands look on the channel, but the new image allows unlimited amount of text and calls-to-action (previously it was rather frowned upon).

Also gone is the ‘image mapping’ function, replaced with the ability to add links that show up as icons on your Channel Art. You can list up to four sites (great for cross social engagement and click-thrus to your website!), which is a fantastic step forward for brands and businesses alike.

#2 Channel Trailer.

For ‘non-subscribers’ (those that have not chosen to ‘follow’ your brand’s channel) the landing page now features a Channel Trailer that automatically begins when a visitor lands on your page/channel. This is a great addition to the site, giving you the chance to give users an inside look as to what you’re all about. Be it a brief description about your channel, promoting specific campaigns or competitions, or just a fun insight into who you are and what you do, it gives you a unique opportunity to produce engaging video content.

#3 “The Guide”.

The new “Guide” lives on the left hand side of every YT page, showing a comprised look of every user’s subscribed channels. Users can use their Guide to navigate back to a specific channel with speed and ease with a single click, optimising their navigation to the content they care about most.

#4 Content Sections.

On top of the introduction of the Channel Trailer, brands now have greater control over how their content is displayed to their target audience. Sections can contain playlists, videos, or even both if you so choose, allowing users to view a more ‘unique’ visit compared to competitors in the days of Yester-YouTube.

#5 Community Tabs.

Instead of *just* videos, YouTube have added tab functionality, creating more of the ‘one-site-mini-site’ we see with Facebook. The new tabs allow users to interact with channels on a variety of levels.

  • Overview/Home tab: This is where the new Channel Trailer and sections lieve for non-subscribers.
  • Videos tab: This displays all of your business video content.
  • Discussion tab: A great new function, where YouTube has allowed a more ‘community approach’ for its users, allowing them to comment directly on the Channel – as well as specific videos (the only option available in the past).
  • About tab: This tab will inform your visitors about you. Your brand, business, and everything they need to know about YOU. This should include what your channel offers, as well as other platforms and other ways of engaging.
  • Custom tab: The custom tab has its own unique URL, and is the only part of the new design which can be targeted based on IP addresses. Using this all-new IP address targeting capability, the Custom tab is extremely useful for users who want to create a variety of channel appearances, for example, a global effect targeting users from each country with specific content. This function can only be available however once a YouTube rep has verified your brand (time will soon tell how quick/efficient this service will become).

 Why these changes should matter to you and your business.

Whilst the ‘old’ YouTube focused merely on video-only content, the new look and revamp creates a far more dynamic visual platform for them to engage with their users, and vice versa. 

The new features and community spirit not only emphasises the importance of rich engaging content, but the importance of regular content on social channels, and keeping interest once a user has clicked that all important ‘subscribe’ button.

This shift is incredibly important for business, and turns the once “look at the cute kittens” and “sing-a-long karaokes” into a true social media platform, ready to rival the others in the ring.

Whilst the community aspect is of course of utmost importance, the real key is grabbing their attention from the get-go. By maximising that first landing page and Channel Art. With the new-approved calls-to-action and workable links, it is a chance that is so often missed and looked over (and unavailable on other social sites thus far: Twitter for example) whilst

With the new look gauged to improve usability for all devices and browsers, make sure your business is upping their game, with a design that will not only catch their eyes, but catch their custom as well.

For further information about our Custom YouTube Design work, please get in touch. We also have a portfolio where we have displayed other designs we have worked on, a great place to gain a few ideas (and of course, a chance for us to show off a little…!).

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