YouTube is the worlds second largest search engine, beaten only by its parent company Google. And in an aim to improve their apps searchability, amongst other improvements, YouTube launched an updated version of their iOS and android applications yesterday. Here is a brief scrum-down on the changes.
One of the first and most major updates is the new ability to search the app whilst continuing to watch whatever video you’re currently streaming. The app now features a range of new gesture controls, which allow you to manipulate the video by dragging it to the bottom of the page as you’re watching. This minimises the video, turning it into a thumbnail size in the bottom right of your screen. By doing this, you regain access to the search bar on the app, which means you can carry on navigating the site as you (kind of) watch the existing video. One of the big uses of YouTube for many is as a music player, where strangely enough (for a video website) the video plays second fiddle to the audio. This new search function is therefore ideal for anybody who uses YouTube in this manner.
If you want to return to a full screen view of the video that’s currently playing, you can do so by tapping it. Alternatively, you can dismiss that video entirely by simply swiping it off the screen. By swiping it, you knock the video out of view and return to the normal YouTube search interface.
A big aim behind this update seems to be to allow users to line up videos, so they can be watched continuously, back to back. As the majority of YouTube’s revenue is now being derieved from video views, as opposed to the Google ads that surround the content – especially in the YouTube app environment – this is a logical aim for YouTube.
So by allowing you to find new videos whilst still viewing old ones, YouTube are helping you to line up the content so that you spend more of your time on YouTube actually watching their videos.
They’re working to achive this aim in other ways too, with the new August app update.
You can now search for playlists through the search interface as well as browsing channels. Both of these options allow you to line up the videos for back to back viewing.
The update now ties in with Google Chromecast too – the service which allows you to share content from your connected devices with your TV easier. YouTube will now show a preview screen across your connected devices whilst using Chromecast, Google TV or a games console to stream the content. This again, allows you to see the next video in line whilst encouraging you to discover and watch more YouTube content.