YouTube announced an update to enhance the experience for creators and viewers on the global platform. One of the new changes is the modern interface of the tablet. YouTube also updated the video chapter function introduced last year, which can automatically add chapters to related videos. It also added new parental controls to YouTube Kids. In addition, YouTube will launch TikTok-like YouTube shorts in the United States from March this year. So far, the short video feature has been tested in India.
Last year, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, when people watched a variety of content in different formats and styles indoors, YouTube saw a completely different mode of content viewing and creation. This change has caused the platform to now release some updates to the public.
YouTube Chief Product Officer Neal Mohan detailed these new features in a blog post. He said that Google’s platform hopes to meet the growing demand for video consumption by bringing a series of updates in 2021.
Mohan said that YouTube now supports formats including SD, HD, 4K, VR, HDR and real-time video “on almost all devices with Internet connectivity.” However, in order to improve navigation, accessibility, and search capabilities specifically for virtual reality (VR) content, the platform will bring a redesigned YouTube VR application homepage later this year.
YouTube also brings automatic video chapters, which have been tested for months. Currently, YouTube creators need to manually add video chapters to their videos. Mohan said in a blog post that more than 20,000 videos use the video chapter function every day.
Users on YouTube TV will also get a new add-on package with 4K streaming, offline viewing, and unlimited concurrent streaming at home. Mohan said that so far, YouTube TV, which is limited to the United States, has more than 3 million paying users and more than 85 networks.
In addition to the YouTube TV update, US users will also receive YouTube shorts, which can be used to make 15-second short films on their mobile devices. YouTube shorts made their debut in India in September last year and are viewed more than 3.5 billion times a day worldwide. Mohan pointed out that the number of Indian channels using the YouTube shorts feature has more than tripled since the beginning of December.
YouTube Music is touted as having more than 70 million official tracks, as well as playlists, remixes, music videos, live performances and cover songs, and will also be updated so that user-created playlists can be easily discovered on the platform.
YouTube Kids is gaining new parental controls, which include options that allow parents to add specific videos and channels on the main YouTube platform to their kids’ viewing choices. Mohan said that YouTube Kids, as a platform, already has more than 35 million weekly viewers per month in more than 80 countries.
In addition to experience-centric updates, YouTube also strengthened its profitability on the creator platform by testing a new applause feature. Mohan said: “This feature brings new profit opportunities for creators’ uploads, and we look forward to launching this feature more widely among creators this year.”
In the recent past, YouTube has also simplified the discovery of videos made on popular topics by adding voice commands to its web client and launching hashtag landing pages, thereby improving the experience on the platform.
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