YouTube has pushed out an update for user channels, and we’re curious on what you think of the changes! Here’s a brief rundown on what’s new:

The entire site has undergone some major cosmetic changes in the last month or so, and users are being presented with an entirely different experience. As with most changes, some users aren’t really warming up to it. I, for one, am really liking these new changes. Although there are always a lot of great reasons to change the look of a site, many people often fight it. It often doesn’t matter much, however, because people generally warm up to the changes quickly.

Let’s take a brief tour of what’s new on the new YouTube space.

At first glance, you’ll likely be lost and not know where anything is. Don’t worry too much though, because YouTube has a nice little introduction on everything, and will immediately help you rediscover where the features are. One thing you’ll also notice as well, is that the new layout is focused on connecting you with more channels around the site, and keeping you informed on your subscriptions. It focuses on channel/user activity, but as an option, you can have your home page only focus on the video uploads.

Some of these features may have existed in the past, but I didn’t know of them if they did. YouTube’s changes have been slowly applied gradually, so you may have already had these things in front of you for a few weeks.

You can see my complete tour of the new YouTube, in the video below. It’s a little long, but informative never the less. Be sure to SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEW CHANNEL to help us build back up.

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httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rKZYgcYkAM

The Home Feed Layout:

The center section of your home screen, for example is works like a Facebook feed, displaying new videos from your subscriptions in the order they were uploaded, with the most recent video on top. Before, if a person you subscribed to uploaded a video, and then waited about half a day before uploading another, both videos would show up together. This isn’t the case anymore (unless they are uploaded before any of your other channels did one between them.

Social Networks in YouTube:

YouTube has gotten into the already existent habit of integrating social networking into the site. You are now, if the proper settings are in place, see updates from your friends on Facebook, Google plus, and more. Note that these updates are video uploads and YouTube related content only, and not just normal status updates. Your friends/connections, as well as you, will also need to have their social networking accounts linked to their YouTube accounts in order for that to work. Linking your accounts together is a piece of cake, as the video below also shows you.

The New Sidebar On The Left:

YouTube has added a new sidebar on the left side. The sidebar contains new little button that tells you if you have any new comments or not, subscriptions that you have (which by default are in alphabetical order), and some recommended channels that YouTube’s system thinks you may be interested in looking at. If you don’t want your subscriptions in alphabetical order, take and hit the “See All” button, and you’ll be taken to your list of subscriptions. From there, you can “Pin” and “Unpin” certain channels, which will determine whether they show up on your feed or not. They’ll still show up in the list in alphabetical order, but at least now they are your favorites.

New Channel Layouts:

This is a big one, and some people are probably going to bitch, but whatever. I personally like it for a lot of reasons.

The new channels give users flexibility to put in place a variety of different layouts and customization for their channel. You’ll have four different options if you aren’t a YouTube Partner, and five options if you are (Live Broadcaster Layout view is added for partners, which gives them live comments streams for conversation, among other things).

The view I personally like the best is “Blogger” view, because it puts the focus on the videos you’ve uploaded, while still allowing you to have a featured video with auto-play. There is also a way in which you can now have a video play on your channel, as your featured video, that isn’t actually a video you uploaded. You may wish to have one of your “favorite” videos to be featured on your channel instead. I’m actually not sure if this feature was available before all of these new changes, but I just learned about it, so this is new to me anyways.

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