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Summary:

The gang at YouTube had a busy year when it came to creating new features and improving on new ones — so here’s a quick look at five things you may not have known you could do while using the world’s largest video site.

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The gang at YouTube had a busy year when it came to creating new features and improving on new ones: For every major announcement of super-HD video support and 10-foot viewing, a half-dozen other upgrades slipped through the cracks. So YouTube gave us the exclusive on some tips and features it thought hadn’t received much notice in 2010 — and some of them are pretty cool.

  1. Right-click options. Right-click on any YouTube video, whether embedded on another site or on YouTube itself, and a bunch of options appear, including Copy video URL, Copy embed code, and Show video info. My favorite is easily Copy video URL at current time, which eliminates the need to use a third-party site like YouTube Time to link to a specific start time.
  2. The home page. Personalization has been a goal of the YouTube homepage for a while now, and currently open to users is an experimental home page that pushes that concept even further, blending together your subscriptions, friend activity and recommended videos, relegating spotlight videos, trending videos, and featured videos to a right-hand column.It could be more customizable, but if you actively use YouTube’s more social aspects, the new home page is a great way to see all recent activity. (If you don’t use those social elements, don’t worry — the search bar is right where you left it.)
  3. Artist pages. Thanks in part to Vevo, music videos dominated YouTube statistics in 2010, and one way YouTube has found to showcase that content is with artist pages. Search for someone like Madonna, and you’ll be taken to a page profiling all her available videos as well as related artists.Not every artist has one — I tested this with the awesome Janelle Monae — but for major divas and rockers, this is a good resource for watching what YouTube has to offer.
  4. Playlists. Speaking of artists, if you search for an artist like Kanye West, there may already be a fully-stocked playlist of his videos. Using the playlist bar, you can create a custom playlist of videos to autopsy. There are no shortage of applications; for one thing, Janko pointed out recently that the playlist is a great way for parents to assemble a bunch of videos to keep kids entertained for hours.
  5. Trends. In the last month of the year, YouTube has amped up its editorial when it comes to tracking what people are watching and where you’re watching it, thanks to the new YouTube Trends blog.Not only does the new Trends data make it easier to see what people are watching, but it also offers up potentially valuable info on demographics and locations to the public. For the average user, that data might not be a huge help — but they might still enjoy the curated “4 at 4″ videos offered up twice a day.

What other YouTube pro tips have you discovered while using the site? School us all in the comments!

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  1. What’s the deal with the “watch later” that appears on embeds now? You guys should do a post on that.

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