YouTube (s GOOG), which in the past seemed to go for months at a time with barely a pixel tweaked, has been opening up its user interface developments a lot more lately. Here are three new features the company is peeking out from behind the curtain:
RealTime sharing. YouTube is experimenting with a live feed of users’ friends’ activity on the site — what they’re watching, rating, commenting on, etc. This looks and behaves very similar to Facebook chat, sitting at the bottom right of the screen. The feature was rolled out as an invite-only beta last night; we have 25 invites if you’d like to try it. Just leave your YouTube user name in the comments or email us, and we’ll friend you from the NewTeeVee account.
Downloads. Meanwhile, TechCrunch has a screengrab of YouTube’s widened rollout of video downloads to content partners. This service had been pre-announced a couple months ago. Partners (in the U.S. only) can now sign up to set up their own fees and licenses.
WYSIWYG Channel Editor. Any YouTube user can participate in this one; just go to the adorable URL http://www.youtube.com/super_seekrit. You’ll find tools to edit the look, feel and layout of your channel page right from the page itself.