YouTube is giving its mobile site an overhaul, which is designed to bring much of the functionality of the YouTube website to the mobile version, which the company now says gets more than 100 million views a day. In a blog post announcing the changes, YouTube says the new mobile version is faster and will include “the options to create playlists” and “the ability to designate ‘favorite,’ ‘like,’ or ‘unlike’ videos” — features previously relegated to the web. It also has new, “touch-friendly elements.”
The company seems intent on pushing the mobile version of the site, as opposed to its smartphone apps, noting that “as we make improvements to Youtube.com, you’ll see them quickly follow on our mobile site, unlike native apps which are not updated as frequently.” That’s something the company also emphasized at a briefing with reporters this morning, according to reports by CNET’s Tom Krazit and by TechCrunch’s Jason Kincaid, who were in attendance.
Something else that may be underlying the desire to push the mobile site, as opposed to the mobile apps: ads. The company is highlighting ads on the mobile version of YouTube, something it isn’t doing (as far as I can tell) on its apps. Earlier this year, YouTube said that for the first time, banner ads would appear on the home, search and browse pages of YouTube when the site is accessed from a mobile phone.