YouTube Introduces Updated User Interface with Pinch Zoom, Frame-by-Frame Search, More
YouTube is getting a makeover, and it hopes users everywhere agree that the changes are for the better. The ad-supported video on-demand (AVOD) service is rolling out a host of changes, large and small, for all users starting today.
The biggest change that YouTube is making is the addition of a pinch zoom feature for mobile users. Viewers can now easily pinch to zoom just like they do with photos on Android and iOS devices. The video stays at whatever level of zoom the viewer wants when they let go instead of reverting to the original video size.
YouTube is also adding a precise seeking feature, which will allow users to seek through a video for the precise moment they need. A set of frame-by-frame thumbnails will appear over the video progress bar so users can find the exact second they are looking for in any video.
The new user interface also includes updates to Youtube’s watch page. YouTube links in video descriptions have now become buttons, and frequent actions such as like, share and download, are now formatted to minimize distractions. The subscribe button has also received a face-lift, the new shape and high contrast help it stand out further, and though — it’s no longer red — YouTube hopes that it’s easier to find and more accessible to everyone on both watch and channel pages.
The update will also introduce what YouTube calls “ambient mode,” which causes the background color of the app to adapt to match the video playing. YouTube has also made its dark mode even darker, which allows for colors to stand out even more vibrantly. Those updates will be available to users on desktop, mobile, and smart TVs.
Executives are hoping that the site-wide updates to YouTube’s user interface will generate some goodwill for the company. After recently ending an experiment which put many 4K videos behind a paywall, YouTube announced that it was raising the price of a subscription to its YouTube Premium family plan by 25%.
Between the attempted pay-walling of 4K videos and the price hike of YouTube Premium right around Thanksgiving, it appears that YouTube is rehearsing its best Scrooge impression for the holidays. If that’s the case, further price hikes could be just around the corner. However, YouTube users have been clamoring for pinch zoom for a while now, so the company is paying more than lip service to its customers’ needs.