On Dec. 1, Google unveiled a revamped Web site design for YouTube that prioritizes subscription channels and video recommendations from social networks like Google+ and Facebook, especially on its new homepage. For PR pros, this means a selection of new features—each designed by YouTube to keep users on the site longer—that can be used to drive better engagement with audiences.
The most prominent new feature is an activity stream that documents video uploads, “likes,” favorites, comments and even announcements for upcoming live events from your subscriptions. In other words, the new platform provides an instant connection between the subscriber and the branded channel they’re following. Instead of the viewer having to go look for branded content, it can be sent directly to them. The homepage will also be populated with content that your friends on Google+ and Facebook share, driving even more viewership through recommendations from trusted sources.
Registered users will also have the option to select up to 10 subscription channels in order to personalize their homepage. For brands savvy enough to achieve such prime placement, direct communication and engagement will become even easier.
According to GigaOm, the company has plans to extend the reinvention onto its mobile offerings and connected devices. This means that this approach to design, which emphasizes subscription channels and recommendations, will be delivered to viewers regardless of how they access the video site. It’s something to keep in mind as communicators continue to develop and redevelop social media strategies.