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YouTube Testing Major, Google+-Centric Redesign

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YouTube is testing a new design that would clean up the site, make subscriptions more important, and integrate Google+ functionalities, The Next Web reported. The test is currently in early trials with a small number of users.

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Images courtesy of The Next Web

The experiment changes the look and feel of several key elements of YouTube. This includes the basic design, which looks cleaner and more organized, as well as some elements of video playback. Further, you can find some added functionality that integrates the Google+ social network.

The look itself makes navigation more prominent and organizes the videos in a single column on the right-hand side. Additionally, the new design provides a left column that allows quick access to channels you've subscribed to, your subscription and other account controls, and links to YouTube-provided highlights ("trending," "interesting," and "popular" videos).

One of the subscriptions located on this left bar by default is a Google+ subscription. This will automatically pull together YouTube videos that were shared on the Google+ social network. While YouTube has added some Plus-related features already, the experiment shows a much bolder and more integrated interplay between the two social sites.

The video playback itself is also somewhat revamped. Users will have greater control over the size of the video on their screen, with multiple sizing options that fall between the current "standard" and "full screen" alternatives. When a video is being played, users will also get some details on the channel providing the video and will see a more prominent link to subscribe.

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The last of the major changes is the behavior video playback for recommended videos. Instead of taking you to the video page, the video pulls up in a Lightbox-styled player; the background dims and the player opens up in a new layer on top of the current page. While users can easily navigate to the video itself, they can also exit the video to return to the page they were on.

Minor changes include an updated favicon and a new "guide page." Other elements may not have been reported yet and all the alterations are far from finalized; as an early-stage test, everything seen here is subject to change.

There is currently no way to switch to the new look; either you're lucky enough to get it or you're not.

Have you seen the new design? What are your thoughts?


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