Just a Google is about to roll out a new design for G-mail, YouTube’s “Panda” is giving viewers a more modern, intuitive but “MySpace-like” design according to CNet’s Eric Smalley.
What do you think? Most of YouTube’s iterations have been subtle adjustments to functionality, social features and emphasis (what appears on homepage, category pages and “related videos,” all changes that are easier to overlook but have tremendous impact on the videos we view and the average “videos viewed per user session.” YouTube’s revenue can grow significantly if it keeps “grazers” around just a wee bit longer, especially if they commence a view of a well monetized video.
This change, however, appears far more visible and will certainly attract the typical reaction to change, not unlike the backlash when YouTube changed it’s channel designs in 2008.
Since YouTube sees itself as a platform not a website or content owner, I’d predict it to soon enable “crowd-sourced custom designs” like iGoogle. Creators, brands and partners would likely be thrilled to pack the non-functioning areas with aesthetics.
I quite like the idea of my little cartoon avatar head peeking from behind players, but I imagine the “iJustine YouTube Skin” would be a wee bit more popular. Don’t worry kids. When it comes out I’ll link to it here.