New YouTube Layout Now Universal: Users Not Pleased

    March 8, 2012
    Jonathan Fisher
    Comments are off for this post.

User reaction has been tepid, at best, to YouTube’s across-the-board implementation of its new page layout. In a blog post, the online video website announced that starting March 8 all YouTube homepage and channel pages will be converted to their redesigned page layout.

The company cites this data as supporting the new layout:

  • Daily unique visits to channels have increased by 60 percent since December 2011
  • Daily net subscriptions are up 50 percent since December 2011
  • Before we look at some of the feedback, here’s a brief overview of the new changes to YouTube channels.

    First off, every channel will now be organized into one of four templates. Page creators can choose from among Creator, Blogger, Network, or Everything template options.

    YouTube has also updated its Channel Feed, similar to the Facebook newsfeed. With this update, all the videos uploaded to a channel will show up in the Channel Feed, so potential subscribers will get a full preview of the channel’s content before they decide whether to subscribe. And if you do subscribe, feeds from your subscriptions will show up on your homepage. Stalking videos has never been easier.

    Also included in the latest slew of updates are an improved Featured tab with a search feature and even more templates, as well as increased customizability of the Favorites feature. Users can also now link their +Page or Google+ profiles to their YouTube channels.

    Despite the data indicating a positive user response to the new layouts, YouTube users on Twitter have been vocalizing their largely negative impression of the mandatory new update.

    Some have mixed feelings:

    I have mixed opinions on the new YouTube channel layout. There are certain features I like, and some I don’t. #YouTube 11 minutes ago via web ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

    And others are embracing the new layout’s ubiquity:

    Welcome to your new YouTube channel http://t.co/LAqyUQdW < new layout for everyone 1 hour ago via Buffer ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

    But the majority are criticizing its appearance, its functionality, its general bugginess, or the lack of user choice in keeping the old layout.

    The new youtube layout is ugly and confusing and it scares me 26 minutes ago via web ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

    I applaud YouTube on their new channel layout. All that pesky customisation was getting in the way of having a lifeless, generic page. 1 hour ago via web ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

    Whoever thought of the new YouTube channel layout has the creative mind of an infant. Also it is as functional as a COD game. 1 hour ago via TweetDeck ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

    New Youtube layout has hit my channel in the end: settings lost, hidden data displayed & the playlists order is all messed up. This is awful 1 hour ago via web ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

    WOW i have to change everything on my new stupid #YouTube layout!! #FML All my information is messed up and is totally Fucked!!! Lame! :( 21 minutes ago via web ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

    @YouTube The new layout is terrible! Why not give us an option to keep the old layout? #Fail #EpicFail #FacePalm #Smh 5 minutes ago via web ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

    @YouTube why do we need to have the new youtube layout, it should be chooseable between the old one and the new one ! i hate the new one 1 hour ago via web ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

    It should be chooseable, indeed.

    Of course, unhappy people are often more vocal than people with unruffled feathers, and users do tend to react negatively when a change first appears. But it will at least be hard for YouTube to ignore the relative lack of enthusiasm for its latest update. Will @YouTube listen to the complaints of its followers and restore freedom and order to their channel pages? Who knows.

    I bet the negativity tapers off as YouTube fixes a few bugs and people learn how to navigate the new layout. Come next update, they may even want to hold onto the layout they hate so much right now. Only time will tell.

    Until then, maybe resignation is the best medicine for these unhappy users:

    Well, just going to have to make the best of this new YouTube layout. 31 minutes ago via Mobile Web ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

    For news on another recent YouTube update that’s not so controversial, click here.

    • John

      I dont like the new youtube layout either

      • parisgirlxxx

        You have no idea how much I hate the ‘new’ you tube

    • http://4TheRecord.org James Newman

      It’s not about getting used to the new layout. Its getting used to not having the customization and the ability to watch a video on one page whilst looking thought Uploaded/Favorites videos and reading and making comments. All this without having to stop watching the video and go to another webpage.

      Now if I want to read any channel comments I have to click on 2-3 links in order to get to another page. Am I on YouTube to read comments? NO. I came to youtube to watch video but it was good to be able to view and make comments to.

      What about the ability to visit someones youtube channel and just from the customization know that your on their channel. Now everything looks the same with an optional banner immage that is only availible to “YouTube Partners”.

      The old layout allowed me to choose my own layout customization and the great thing was any YouTube user could do this. No you must be a partner to get a little bit of customization. Not a lot though, they wouldn’t want you to look different from the other channels.

      The best way to describe the new layout is like a sterile morgue. There simply isn’t any life in it. It’s just bland, sterile and grey.

      Great job youtube. I now have to waste more time searching for an alternative video site which doesn’t look like a place I would keep dead bodies.

      • parisgirlxxx

        Written like a Shakespeare. “A sterile morgue”. Your whole post was like you jumped into my brain and copied it all. That said, on another site, I wrote that being a female, I want to keep my identity, info etc. private–they actually drew a line thru it censoring my comments. Other posts said F and it was ignored. beat that.opinion nazis.

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/MusicMike2/feed?filter=1 MusicMike2

      The New Youtube layout unfriendly, cold and boring. I much prefer the old design, especially having the viewers comments prominently displayed. The old design allowed all of to have a unique channel that was interesting to visit. Now, it’s basically generic and lifeless. I’ve had a popular YouTube channel for over 5 years and this has got to be the lowest point of my experience. The dork that designed this should be fired.

      • celeste

        you said it perfect. the new layout is terrible, cold, impersonal, I hate it! At the least give us a choice!!!!

        • parisgirlxxx

          I hate it too!!! WHY? It’s awful now!

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/MusicMike2/feed?filter=1 MusicMike2

      ….Typing Correction –The New Youtube layout is unfriendly, cold and boring. I much prefer the old design, especially having the viewers comments prominently displayed. The old design allowed all of us to have a unique channel that was interesting to visit. Now, it’s basically generic and lifeless. I’ve had a popular YouTube channel for over 5 years and this has got to be the lowest point of my experience. The dork that designed this should be fired.

    • Joseph

      They have also changed the youtube help forum design, it is slow and the forum layout is impossible to use. I would recommend looking at this also. It is googles deliberate attempt to kill off youtube, like when myspace did the same thing and introduced the gaudy website design. Google purchased youtube but wants users to use google+. It probably has something to do with this also.

    • http://gruntlesnoot clova cameron

      I agree with all of the above comments. I too think Google has set out to murder youtube and they have done a fine job. The program is no longer set up to be interactive. Previously I had a feeling that there were real people out there and every channel had its own individual life, now I feel everything has just gone dead, can’t see any reaction on the channels. ITS TERRIBLE!

    • ex-TheJaeger100

      Completely wrecked. Have not the time nor the inclination to becoming familiar with a layout that I hate.
      I unsubscribed. Bye bye Youtube.

    • http://www.munderamps.com John Munder

      The new layout us totally useless. Since the change the traffic to my website has gone totally in the toilet. The layout sucks and worst than that, you can’t edit the feed page or get rid of content that you don’t want to be the focal point of your channel. This change is really hurt my business and was ill conceived and worse than that they don’t give a crap or they would have given you the option to keep the old layout. When you previewed my old channel you saw what I wanted you to see, my product demos, now you see the feed page with videos from all over the place that confuse my customers. You look at my channel and don’t get the idea what the hell it’s purpose is anymore. Very discusted.

    • Endza50

      YouTube? The good old YouTube is not YouTube anymore.
      It is GoogleTube now.
      What ever google touches dies…YouTube died when google took over it.
      Goole forces all to drink it’s poison.. Let google spy on you, let google decide for you, let google think for you, let google modify you, let google buy for you, let google suggest for you, let google be your brain, let google rule you and above all, above all Let google be your GOD. Yeh sheeplets go down on your knees and worship google…
      I have replaced google with startpage. I kicked google out of my life about 3 years ago. Google killed scroogle. And I was one of it’s users. So now, startpage is my search engine. They destroyed YouTube..
      I hate my new chanel layout. Because it sucks just like google.

    • Eyzndasky

      “The company cites this data as supporting the new layout:
      Daily unique visits to channels have increased by 60 percent since December 2011
      Daily net subscriptions are up 50 percent since December 2011”

      Google’s IT experts (which must be a group of semi-trained chimpanzees) came up with the ‘new improved YouTube’ design which is supposedly more user friendly. If you’re a casual user of YouTube, you don’t mind being navigated away from a user’s channel when you only want to view one video but if you want to remain on the channel – you’re constantly reloading the channel – which probably accounts for the increase in unique visits to the channel. Google/YouTube freezes a new video’s count in order to keep users from padding the count with constant reloading but now, it’s my guess, that they’re counting every channel reload in order to pad their “unique visits to channels”!

      The “Daily net subscriptions” are up because they count users of cell phones who subscribe and anyone who submitted the old ‘friend request’ is now counted as a subscriber. So a channel might have 200 actual subscribers and 900 friends but with the new method of combining the 2 – it shows that the channel would have a huge increase of subscribers!!!

      GoogleTube refuses to listen to user feedback and ignores online polls and petitions because, in their corporate mind-set, they’re whitewashing the user complaints and fabricating statistics to ‘prove’ that everyone loves the new layout design. It’s all about the ads which they so seamlessly work into the channels and the new method of counting ‘unique visits’ is used to deceive advertisers into thinking they have a much bigger audience – which generates a huge amount of income for the corporation! This is a very questionable and somewhat shady business practice for any corporation!!

      I haven’t even touched on the ‘social’ changes in YouTube or the new (lack of) privacy throughout the Google websites. The corporate greed exhibited by Google is reprehensible and should be investigated. Long time YouTube users and uploaders should make all their videos private and their channels invisible so the corporation would see how widespread the dissatisfaction is on the site.

    • scoop

      Good to read some analysis rather than WTF of Youtube sucks. I was amazed at the above stats on unique visits and subscriptions; Eyzndasky’s answer makes a lot of sense. This playing with stats by Google isn’t new e.g. their claims about the millions of users of Google+ but it doesn’t mention a huge proportion simply open an account then never use it.

      This new layout may suit some people but for uploaders like ourselves it no longer serves much a clear purpose. We were promoting wildlife protection in Asia, so gathering similar groups and individuals as friends and subscribers helped prove at a glance there was support around the globe. Now there are no “friends” and channel hits are no longer displayed (we lost 20,000 in one day). Our featured video is the last video we uploaded and not the clip that gives you a clear overview of what we are doing.

      Perhaps the new layout may suit casual viewers but I can’t see the benefit to the core element that has driven Youtube, and made it the potential goldmine in advertising that it is today, i.e. Uploaders. I don’t see any really clear competition to Youtube right now, Vimeo is excellent but it’s hard to gather a community like Youtube used to promote.
      In a way I would be sort of happy if Youtube loses it’s power and interested to see who comes up with the next community based success story. But now, for us at least, it’s annoying.

    • scoop

      I take back the bit about Featured video; that you can do. But to reiterate I feel the community aspect has been diminished. Befriending and displaying friends and subscribers and comments is a big part of the human psychology driving these sites.

    • chris

      This new youtube layout is a piece of shit!
      give us the old one back!

    • Running Hoove

      Worst ever, YouTube officially sucks. Closed all three of my channels, deleted the associated Gmail accounts, killed 4 years of work, abandoned 3,987 subscribers.

      Thanks for killing YouTube Google, YOU SUCK! Getting rid of my Android phone, we want nothing to do with Google and utterly purging Google from our lives.

    • luminess


      • parisgirlxxx

        opinion Nazis. I HATE IT TOO. I hope someone makes another operation w/ FREE speech like the OLD you tube–I’m going there then!

    • jay

      youttube.. Hmmm generic grey boxes … one size fits all … with no personality , choice or options..
      who are these DEAD HEADS responsible for tampering with so many peoples creative individual expressions.
      What vile small minded IDIOT MORON corporate ponce , turns a vital & vibrant community arts & creative expression ,, into a prison.

      & then doesn’t listen to complaints & objections when it stream rolls right over all this genuine human expression…
      YOUTUBE,, gone down the TUBE.. they shit me no end with this blatant disregard for upsetting peoples efforts..

      SHAME ON YOU YOUTUBE… you stupid dumbfuck cretins. !
      you mindless bunch of brainless asswipes …
      WHY do you screw up a perfectly good idea.. ?

    • r mitchell

      a sad development,corporate arrogance triumphs over individuallity.

    • Matthew Stewart

      here are my problems with the new layout
      -I cant organize my videos the way I used to
      -important features are missing (ie: pm button)
      -they took away my banner
      -limitations on organizing your channel
      -they took away over 300 of my subscribers during the change
      -Huge limitations on customizing your channel
      -any features you do still have you have to keep where they put them…

    • Matthew Stewart

      also going along with my above comment

      Here is what I think we should do about this
      -start a twitter trend on twitter and get as many youtubers involved as possible
      -spread the word on Facebook
      -start an online petition
      -spam google with personal hand written letters professionally explaining how we use their service, why we use their service and how this new layout has negatively affected our use of their service

    • PinkPanfa

      shit , go to gozie or zippcast , i deleted my account on the 6th

    • Jaret

      I agree. The new layout is terrible and I too am considering cancelling my account. The freedom of self expression and sharing is now under a dictatorship. A better suited name and slogan for Youtube should be changed to Nazi/FascistTube – Taking away freedom one feature at a time.

      Rest in peace Youtube.

    • Manceinion

      The thing I hate most about the new layout is how my channel information text is so subdued. The font is a shade of grey not much different from the background which means it blends in with it making it look unimportant. This is where I link to my blogs and various other things including other youtube channels. Now my viewers have to click ‘see more…’ to actually see them.

      The only way to customise it is to use a background which a lot of users won’t even see (I mainly customised with colours I used in my sites/blogs). It isn’t just one page, it’s several pages you have to click around to see anything. Visitors comments are now virtually invisible.

      What’s social about this new layout? Nothing by the looks of it.

    • Mentious

      A favorite thing about the old design was having the avatars (and often faces) of my Friends, Subscribers, and Subcriptions on my page. Not having these, I’m not even interested in going to my channel and working on it. They will be badly missed.

      Another much loved feature was the comments of visitors on the channel page. Now nobody sees those. They are buried. It’s difficult to even find them myself. A negative comment might be on the channel for a week before I even know it.

      I used to love being able to “arrange” the thumbnails for uploaded/favorite videos. You could “freshen” your page and give it new life that way, and keep people noticing your videos by raising their profile. It’s a great disappointment you can no longer do this and are locked into a “most recent” order, or “oldest” order. Lame.

      I think that the “one big” then “smaller” video thumbnails is terrible, because the “smaller” ones are too big. It’s visual overkill, and all that space (for gigantic “smaller” thumbnails) is a waste of design spare formerly used for cool background elements, the comments, the “Friends” avatars, etc.

      I think YouTube did this for political reasons; reasons to do with dampening too much communication or free-speech. There is no longer a sense that activists can encourage each other or network through these channels. Communication is dampened. They didn’t like the political free-for-all that was happening on their channel.

      I used to work on my own channel daily, watching the new subscribers, comments, and freshening up my displayed videos arrangement. Now it’s so boring and depressing I don’t even wish to visit my own channel.

      All the channels look the same now. And yeah, it’s sterile, monotonous, lifeless across the channels now.

    • http://0ldcore.cfw.me/ Wolf

      The new layout sucks. I hate it.

      I had my layout customised just the way I like it, why would they do this?

    • Ranch Mubay

      You Tube created a site that benefits advertisers at the expense of viewers. The point was to promote corporate videos by sending viewers away from individual pages to the promoted page or promoted video. That’s why you can’t view the video on a personal page. Also its set up for bloggers that create a new video every day and just want a vblog roll. This works really well if you’re downloading clips of the latest episode of Chelsea Lately or The Tonight Show, but for the average person who might make a video a month they need more flexibility in choosing the order of videos. The upticks in the statistics above are from current viewers who have lost much of their content (or can’t find it) and trying to reassemble the pieces. How is this positive? Of course daily visits to unique channels have gone up…there are no other choices!!!! Why didn’t the reporter address that? When you only have one candidate its pretty obvious what the choice will be. Also subscriptions have gone up because we lost all our You Tube friends and trying to connect back. We are trying to reassemble. How is re-connecting with something You Tube took away considered a positive? Once again, big fail on Mr. Fisher. Can we replace Mr. Fisher with a reporter that actually understands the subject matter because its quite obvious he’s not very familiar with You Tube, let alone the dynamics of the changes.

    • Nick

      Youtube’s numbers concerning the increase in subscribers are a little dishonest when you consider the fact that they simply removed the “friends list” from the channels all together. Now if a user wants to get their friends back on their list they are forced to subscribe to them. I honestly don’t see the point in subscribing to someone who doesn’t have their own videos but that certainly never stopped me from being friends with them. As for everything else concerning the “new format”, it’s just bland, needlessly more complicated and most definitely not for anyone who wants to express themselves through their channel.

    • Lana

      YouTubes new layout will “NEVER” become popular with the “realtime” users. The ones that spend hours on there. I can tell you for a fact. Hits on channels are down. Out of 700 plus friends on my list. I have lost 10%.They left as soon as the change over took place The other 90% are on alternative sites and we are just using YT as an email, more or less. There are plenty of alternative sites ans we have found them.

    • jt

      i hate the new layout! but of course it was a decision based on interest to generate more money for themselves..it does not matter what the people want it’s what their pockets want. i hope nobody clicks on any ads as protest for this until they agree to change it back..but they probably won’t google slipped them a shiney penny and now they are enamored with it and turned their backs on us :(

    • Gary

      “Despite the data indicating a positive user response to the new layouts, YouTube users on Twitter have been vocalizing their largely negative impression of the mandatory new update”

      Who writes this crap. Show me the supposed data indicating a positive user response to the new layouts. It sucks, you know it and we know it. You, Google, are only interested in using Youtube to make money.

      You can’t contact any other user anymore and since the change no one can find my videos.

      Like a previous poster said, I’m going to check out gozie or zippcast and if they’re anything close to Youtube, I’m gone.

    • Endza

      Schmidt joined Google’s board of directors as chairman in March 2001:

      In the future, says Schmidt, “one idea is that more and more searches are done on your behalf without you needing to type.” There is, of course, a very fine line between on your behalf and without your knowledge or approval. Just as fine is the line between without you needing to type and without you needing to think or act. Schmidt explains further that, “most people don’t want Google to answer their questions. They want Google to tell them what they should be doing next.”

      Now you see what google realy is..
      They don’t need your money, they have enough to buy the world. What they realy want is something else. Something that money can’t buy…Your SOUL. Do you get it now?!!

    • Peter

      “I bet the negativity tapers off as YouTube fixes a few bugs and people learn how to navigate the new layout. Come next update, they may even want to hold onto the layout they hate so much right now. Only time will tell.”

      Their betting on us becoming accustomed to the changes and eventually accepting them. The other changes didn’t bother me as much because youtube wasn’t changing the customization option for my channel and basically making it look the same cold grey as everyone else’s.


      This is NOT user friendly, people may become accustomed to this but Google and Youtube know how popular YT is so they don’t care about what their users think. If somebody petitions them to give us the option to go back to the old layout maybe that will send a message. I may just write one up in the upcoming weeks and have users sign it.

    • r mitchell

      no one likes a dictatorship and their opinions being completely ignored.

    • Joe

      Welcome to the New World order of American evil. Hey, it’s what you paid for, enjoy.

      The Americans loved doing evil to others, racism, supporting corporations, importing people so as not to employ “so-called” (Blacks and Hispanics) minorities, etc. etc. etc.

      Look at you now. LOL

    • Denny

      Youtube’s new layout just plain sucks. These people are total idiots. If it was formatted this way at it’s inception it would have been a failure. What a bunch of ass holes.