This morning YouTube held an event at their headquarters to talk about the new changes they have bought about on their pages. The key speakers at the event were Mr. Shiva Rajaraman, Julian Fumar and Igor Kofman.
In January this year, Youtube rolled out its Watch page for the first time along with several other features such as Disco, Thumbs Up button, More Information that was earlier shyly placed under the Video itself so on and so forth. Basically youtube attempted make its UI cleaner and more user friendly. But what they actually ended up doing was introduce a whole lot of features in a clutter without paying any heed to what might work and what might not.
Now it’s time to scrutinize some. The conference was primarily held to indicate that the new look has been very well accepted and that the engagement has been increased by 7 % because of the new features. In reality, the 7 % engagement increase is a very small number considering the “Watch” page has been shoved in front of people’s faces to try it out. More importantly the engagement is calculated in terms number of comments not the quality. If that was the case the engagement would not be calculated as less than 3%.
The new UI is still quite cluttered and the features the users were most used to were completely altered. In an attempt to make youtube more google like, they have toppled over their position. Even though YouTube is one of the most popular video streaming website right now, but a lot of competition already exists. With HD videos taking longer to stream and the quality of videos being uploaded poorer, this drastic change might make YouTube lose some market share. In my opinion, they should have been gradual with their changes and taken enough feedback before rolling out the new UI.