YouTube is at it once again with multiple updates and changes in recent weeks. On this week's Reel Web weekly video news episode, we review several major changes that YouTube has made to the video upload process in the past week or so that you should be aware of.  Additionally, we review and give our thoughts on what we like and what we dislike with some of the major new user interface design changes that YouTube is currently testing.

YouTube Testing Complete Site User Interface (UI) Redesign

There are new design changes that are happening on YouTube, and most of them people seem to like.  If you are not seeing the new design changes, Google Chrome has a hack to enable the preview.

One of the major things you may find you don’t like is figuring out how you can show uploads only from the people that you’re subscribed to.  Right now, it's showing comments they have left, things they've liked, and you actually have to go manually type in the URL, in order to get to the old-school way you’re used to.  You have to do this if you like viewing only uploads, only on a list that you can just skim through them really quickly

Another change is the new guide on the sidebar is easily collapsible.  It makes the site feel much cleaner if it's collapsed.  If you want to get to your subscriptions and check out other content and see what else is going on you just click ‘guide’ and the whole thing expands with a menu of items you might want access to.

Commenting is now more organized.  It makes it feel like this place is much easier to have an interaction, dialog, and kind of keep track of the conversations.  Before, everything was just like one big, long list.  Now it's threaded a little bit, and it's a lot easier to follow.

3 New YouTube Features for the Upload Process

YouTube recently made some major changes to features when uploading video content on the site.

New Subscription Notification Choices

First, there is an option that allows you to select whether or not you want to notify subscribers of your new content.  Before now, there was no way do this.  If you had a video that was set to private and you decided you wanted it to be public, it would be announced automatically to your subscribers.  With this new change if you have, for example, a backlog of old content you want to make public but don’t want to email your subscribers about it, you have that option.

Instant Custom Thumbnail Uploading

The second recent change is you can now upload your custom thumbnail while your video is uploading.  You used to have to wait for your video to not only finish uploading but also finish processing, then you could upload your custom thumbnail.  This is probably not a feature that is important to everyone, but there are plenty of creators out there who didn’t like having to wait to upload the thumbnail while the video was loading, and now they won’t have to.

Changes to Tagging

The final significant change has to do with entering your tags.  If you wanted a phrase or two words together as a tag previously you needed to put them in quotes.  Now YouTube has made it easier, and hopefully less confusing, by requiring a hard return between each of your tags.  Type your phrase or your tag, hit enter and it will get a block around the word or words you just typed.  If you don’t hit enter until after you type all your tags you will end up with one big long tag, so be sure to remember to hit enter after every single one.

QUESTION: What's your experience been like so far with the new YouTube design?

  • Brendan Bailey

    I personally don't care for the new tagging system either. I usually get our tags from copyediting, so I simply copy and paste them in the tags field. This won't work any more. I have to re-type, then enter, each word/phrase by hand.

  • Victor R. Solis

    The interface change for the tags no longer allows you to specify the order of the tags. My production team and I understood that primacy was a critical factor for listing relevant tags for videos, specifically the first three tags. For example, we made sure our Generic Girl comedy series videos had "generic girl" and "girl comic" as a couple of our first three tags.

    Has the YT search algorithm changed to reflect this change on the users' side? It wouldn't make sense that primacy would still be a factor if we cannot specify the tag order. Or has the algorithm changed in other ways that we should know of in order to better craft our tags to maximize our relevancy in YT search. Very very much looking forward to hearing more about this!

    Thanks Mark for the continuing education. ;)

    • Tim Schmoyer

      I noticed this, too. It's very annoying. As far as I understand it, tags listed first still carry more weight than ones listed later, but you're right -- there's no good way to rearrange tags. You have to erase them all and start over if you want a different tag at the beginning.