Google is winning, by most measuring sticks you might care to use.
The company that was once just a search engine is now many things. Android has been nothing less than a blazing mobile success, and just this morning we were writing a news story about the Chrome browser now having overtaken Firefox in only a couple of years.
Of course the latest venture is Google+, the social network, and along with the beta launch of that service – which admittedly doesn’t seem to be faring that well after an initial spike of interest – Google has been busy daubing the redesign paintbrush over all its web properties.
Google Reader had a serious revamp (that displeased most), Gmail has a new appearance and now YouTube has been redesigned.
It’s been graced with a totally new look, a new homepage, and a fresh channel design. Hop on over yourself and take a peek.
The homepage looks more modern and pretty slick, with a bank of favourite channels displayed on a menu down the left hand side of the screen so you can quickly view the most-watched channels you subscribe to.
You can add channels using the add button on top of the sidebar, which will bring up channels YouTube recommends for you based on your past viewing. There are also banks of categories you can select channels from, such as beauty, film, comedy, music and so on.
Obviously YouTube will be pushing its own partners and media content via these channels, and there’s already a stack of stuff ready for viewing.
Underneath channel favourites on the home page, there’s also a section highlighting popular and trending videos.
Unsurprisingly, you can link your YouTube account to Google+ – or indeed Facebook – to share with friends, and see what they’re watching. Google is likely hoping to tempt Facebookers over to Google+ via YouTube, as we’ve mentioned before.
Whether that’ll work is doubtful. However, the overall new look aims to be cleaner and simpler, and we’d say it works – along with adding larger thumbnails for videos, another nice touch.