Wow. YouTube forum admins are about to really earn their money. YouTube today unveiled a brand new home page design. It’s bold, darker, and has a new layout. It’s only been hours since the launch, and I’ve yet to truly get a feel for the new YouTube, but I can say this much: any redesign this big is bound to have detractors… lots of them. They’ll come out swinging without ever giving this a try, and simply because it’s so different. People don’t like change.

But the majority of users will do what we always do when YouTube changes things up: we’ll get used to it, and probably even find some things to like about it.

The New YouTube Home Page Is More Social Than Ever

Take a look at the left side of the home page–the part shaded in dark grey. That’s basically a kind of “Your YouTube” navigation area, with suggested channels, subscriptions, and more. And notice what’s right up there at the top, just under Subscriptions? It’s Google Plus and Facebook integration.

That tells me that YouTube is serious about users integrating video with their social experience.

Then… below the social buttons… you get to categories like Trending, Popular, Music, and Entertainment. Clicking one of these alters the stream of videos in the center of the page.

Further down the dark grey bar you’ll come to suggested channels, where YouTube is offering you content they think you’ll enjoy based on your previous viewing habits.

Here’s a look at the new YouTube home page, as it appears to a user that’s not signed in:

The main video stream in the center of the page also goes on forever. I’ve never seen any kind of YouTube page–search result or otherwise–that scrolled as far down as this one does.

The dark grey bar is intended to be your control panel for discovering content, quickly filtering through videos by type or topic. You can also click “see all” under the categories and see something that resembles the old YouTube home page in layout, though the colors are definitely darker. It looks like this:

YouTube says there were three areas of concentration for the redesign:

  • A new home page
  • Customization options
  • Overall site redesign

The player page is pretty much the same, except the white background has changed to that new subtle light grey they seem to love so much. Here’s the video they released about the new YouTube:

New YouTube Channel Design

Those of you who create videos and/or manage a YouTube account take note: there’s a new channel design. From YouTube:

Given the homepage’s new focus on helping you find and organize your favorite Channels, we would be remiss if we didn’t update the look and feel of the Channels themselves. Today we’re launching an improved Channel design focused on what matters most: helping users find great videos. As different uploaders have different goals, we’ve created new Channel templates to meet your needs whether you produce one video a week or have thousands of videos for a fan to browse. Some partners have even uploaded videos talking about the features, or giving tips on how they’re taking advantage of the new design. To learn how to opt-in to and test this new Channel design, check out our help center.

Yes, you read that last part right… you’ll need to opt in if you want to try this out, which I imagine many of you will do shortly.

What Do You Think Of The New YouTube?

YouTube, and Google in general, seems to be going through a bit of a “dark” phase, at least with regard to design. We had the black navigation bar on most Google services for several months, though that’s disappearing now. The YouTube Player recently got a bit darker. And now the home page of YouTube. I doubt it means anything but a branding choice, but it’s interesting nonetheless.

What do you think about the new YouTube home page? Do you hate it? Love it? Somewhere-in-between it? Let me know your thoughts below, including anything new you’ve noticed that I didn’t mention. I’m off to keep playing around on the new YouTube.