YouTube unveils new logo and features for screens of all sizes

The platform’s redesign aims to highlight content and encourage viewing. Its product chief said, ‘We’re here to give people a voice and show them the world—no matter what device they use.’

YouTube has a new look.

The platform recently revealed a new logo that’s designed to fit seamlessly across all electronic devices and screens.

On Tuesday, The Verge reported:

For the last 12 years, YouTube’s logo has been a pair of anachronisms wrapped inside each other. “We have the word tube in a tube,” says Christopher Bettig, the head of YouTube’s art department. “This is weird. No one knows what this is.” Tube is slang for a television set, which used to be powered by vacuum tubes. But neither tubes nor TVs are central to the world’s biggest video service, which now reaches over 1.5 billion people each month, streaming to almost any screen with an internet connection.

And so today the brand is getting its biggest aesthetic makeover ever. The YouTube logo is being refreshed, shifting the emphasis away from the word “Tube” and onto the familiar play button which has already become an iconic shorthand for the company. The service is also getting a new typeface, color scheme, and a bunch of major changes to the look, feel, and functionality of its desktop and mobile app.

YouTube showed its progression of branding changes over the years in a GIF:

YouTube is playing up the increased popularity of people using its “play” button as an abbreviated logo. In a company blog post, YouTube’s chief product officer, Neal Mohan, wrote:

… Designed for our multi-screen world, the updated Logo combines a cleaned up version of the YouTube wordmark and Icon, creating a more flexible design that works better across a variety of devices, even on the tiniest screens. Why’s it more flexible? When room is limited (say on a smartphone) you can use the brightened up Icon as an abbreviated Logo, which will be seen more easily and read more clearly.

Aside from its new logo and cleaner design, YouTube is expanding its mobile app features, which includes the ability to double-tap to the left or right side of the current video to rewind or fast-forward it 10 seconds. In the next few months, YouTube will also enable users to jump between videos by swiping left or write.

YouTube also added an app feature that lets you speed up or slow down a video (which was previously only available through desktop), along with a tool that suggests additional videos when you watch in full-screen mode. The platform will soon update its player on mobile devices to change shape with each video’s format (horizontal, vertical or square).

On its website, YouTube extended its design changes, which Mohan said “lets content shine,” and now offers users the ability to turn the platform’s background dark “for a more cinematic look” with a feature called “Dark Theme.”

All these features and updates are aimed at showcasing the platform’s content and encouraging viewers to discover and watch more videos. This can be positive for both YouTube creators, who can make money via sponsored ads on their videos, as well as marketers, who can capitalize on users’ attention to promote their brand, products and services.

Appropriately, the platform showed off the new features in a video:

Though YouTube’s new logo and design isn’t receiving the chatter that Airbnb’s new look or Uber’s logo change did, Mohan stressed that the platform’s mission remains the same—and that it’s focused on its users.

He wrote:

We know this is a lot of change, but we want to make clear that there’s one thing that stays the same: YouTube’s mission. We’re here to give people a voice and show them the world – no matter what device they use.

What do you think of YouTube’s new look and features, PR Daily readers?

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