YouTube (s GOOG) is going to to roll out its new channel design across its entire site Wednesday, completing a major component of a site redesign that started last December. The new layout puts a bigger emphasis on channel subscriptions and content curation in an effort to make people stick around longer. YouTube is expected to switch all channels to the new design by Wednesday morning.
The new channel design, which has so far been available on an opt-in basis, comes with a new featured tab that can be customized to the needs of each publisher with a number of templates. Some of the default templates include a design optimized for bloggers with a lot of output, a network design that can highlight multiple channels on YouTube and even a live template that includes elements specific to a live video broadcast on YouTube.
YouTube rolled out an ambitious site relaunch in December that included a completely revamped homepage, which is meant to entice users to subscribe to channels rather than just watching single clips. The relaunch came about a month after YouTube announced its professional content initiative, which includes new channels from celebrities, YouTube personalities and major media organizations.
YouTube publishers have until Wednesday to familiarize themselves with the new channel design by switching back and forth between the new and the old layout. There are a few major changes publishers should be aware of in addition to the new featured tab:
- The new channel design won’t have any banner images anymore. Users can instead use the background image as a banner and add links to their own websites through an image map.
- Channels are now 970px wide, as opposed to the old width of 980px. This means that some publishers may have to adjust their background images.
- A new feed page aggregates more than just a user’s video uploads. It will also show which videos he likes and comments on and even include some info about activity on third-party sites.