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June 14, 2012

YouTube Tests a New Homepage Interface

YouTube experiments with a new design of the homepage. The left sidebar now lists all your subscriptions and you can see the number of recent videos from each subscription. There's also a search box that lets you find a subscription. The sidebar no longer includes popular YouTube categories and the suggested channels are displayed below your subscriptions in the scrolling list.

Another change is that the videos from your feed take up a lot more space because the thumbnails are bigger. The new interface lets you hide videos from the feed, a feature that used to be available in the previous YouTube UIs. YouTube also shows a small "watched" label over the thumbnail after playing a video.

Here's the experimental UI:





... and the existing homepage:



Here's how you can try the latest Google experiment. If you use Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari or Internet Explorer 8+, open youtube.com in a new tab, load:

* Chrome's JavaScript console (Ctrl+Shift+J for Windows/Linux/ChromeOS or Command-Option-J for Mac)
* Firefox's Web Console (Ctrl+Shift+K for Windows/Linux or Command-Option-K for Mac)
* Opera's Dragonfly (Ctrl+Shift+I for Windows/Linux or Command-Option-I for Mac)
* Safari's Web Inspector (how to do that?)
or
* Internet Explorer's Developer Tools (press F12 and select the "console" tab)

and paste the following code which changes a YouTube cookie:

document.cookie="VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE=pfnTZqEKHEE; path=/; domain=.youtube.com";window.location.reload();

Then press Enter and close the console. To go back to the standard UI, follow the same steps, but use the following code:

document.cookie="VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE=; path=/; domain=.youtube.com";window.location.reload();

There are many improvements in Google's experiment, but the information density is pretty low and you have to keep scrolling down to see more videos.

Update (December 7, 2012): The new interface is available for everyone and you can no longer go back to the old layout.

{ via TechnoNet. }

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