YouTube is offering an updated version of its mobile site, with an eye toward giving users a more streamlined and faster interface for watching video while on the go.
“YouTube consumption on mobile devices has also grown considerably,” Andrey Doronichev, a YouTube product manager, wrote in a July 7 posting on the Official YouTube Blog. “Playbacks were up 160 percent in 2009 over the previous year. And we’re excited to announce that YouTube Mobile receives more than 100 million video playbacks a day. This is roughly the number of daily playbacks that YouTube.com was streaming when we joined forces with Google in 2006.”
YouTube on mobile devices was originally launched in 2007, Doronichev added, with roughly 1,000 videos available. However, the technology at the time “had limitations that prevented the mobile experience from keeping up with YouTube on the desktop.” In that spirit, YouTube has apparently retooled its mobile site for a more modern era.
The updated mobile site, which is accessible here, leverages faster speed and “larger, more touch-friendly elements,” according to Doronichev, along with the ability to create playlists, designate favored videos and receive search query suggestions. English will be the only language available at first, but YouTube is anticipating more as the site matures.
By May 2010, some five years after its initial launch, YouTube played host to 2 billion video views per day, with 24 hours’ worth of video uploaded per minute. That would mean, according to an oft-quoted statistic, that more video is uploaded to YouTube in 60 days than was created by all three major U.S. television networks in 60 years.
YouTube’s main site has also undergone a series of revisions, including a January 2010 revamp that saw the main page stripped-down and support added for HTML5 video. The site also recently fended off a $1 billion lawsuit from Viacom in New York District Court, which argued infringement of its copyrights by uploading-happy users, although Viacom will reportedly try to have its issues reheard by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Google, however predictably, framed the win as one for the openness of the Web.
“This is an important victory not just for us, but also for the billions of people around the world who use the Web to communicate and share experiences with each other,” Kent Walker, vice president and general counsel at Google, wrote in a June 23 posting on the Official YouTube Blog.