The new YouTube
The YouTube redesign that has been slowly developing since January went live this week. NewTeeVee summarized the changes (including a very different commenting system) and included comparative screen shots. Download Squad provided a comprehensive tour of the new interface, which they felt could become a prototype for all Google products someday.
In general the sentiment is that YouTube removed a lot of clutter and used Ajax to keep users on the page unrefreshed. YouTube's Shiva Rajaraman explained the objectives to the NY Time's Bits Blog, saying that YouTube is optimizing for 15-30 minute viewing sessions by linking related videos. The early good news was reported by TechCrunch -- a quick 7% rise in engagement. The tougher to swallow news came via comments from current users. A little change may be a good thing but it is never easily accepted for online brands.