YouTube today announced a huge improvement to its existing mobile video offerings: far broader access to watch videos from a far broader range of phones, as well as upload videos of your own. In the past, the service had been available in limited form through deals with Verizon, Helio, and Apple. Now, anyone with a 3G device (admittedly that’s a small fraction of the population) whose handset can handle streaming video can access the service at m.youtube.com and watch “most of YouTube’s catalog, or tens of millions of videos,” according to the New York Times.
Other improvements: Through the mobile version of YouTube, existing users can log into their normal accounts with their library and preferences intact. Video uploads are via MMS. For now, the mobile version will have no ads.
Google had previously told us that the iPhone was not a significant source of traffic to YouTube, though the device had given Google Maps a boost. That’s probably not solely due to the limitations of the video application, but to the slow speed of U.S. mobile data connections. The new YouTube mobile site is available internationally, so look for lots of off-the-cuff cellcam vids from places where people have better phones and access.