YouTube relaunched m.youtube.com, its mobile service, this week. The new site offers all of the features of the traditional YouTube site, and vastly improves the site’s speed and interface. According to YouTube, the mobile site’s traffic has risen to more than 100 million video playbacks per day — roughly the same number of playbacks that the traditional YouTube site performed in 2006, when the company was purchased by Google.
According to a report issued by the PEW Internet and American Life Project, 59 percent of American adults access the Internet wirelessly using either a laptop or a cell phone. While only 38 percent of Americans access the Internet from their mobile phone, the numbers are incredibly high among the younger generations. Nearly 65 percent of 18-29 year olds access the Internet from their cell phones.
The new m.YouTube.com site offers improved speed and has all of the bells and whistles of the regular site. In the last year, the site’s traffic has grown 160 percent. The new site has a much friendlier interface, and allows the use of the suggestion, favorite, and playlist features offered on the regular YouTube site.
In addition, the site offers much improved high-quality video playback that is smoother than the previous version. It allows users to switch between different video qualities on the fly. It also offers the rating, share, like, and unlike features.
The interface is far more finger-friendly, making it easy to scroll through videos and find the ones you want. It was designed with touchscreen devices in mind, and makes browsing channels and surfing for videos much easier.
The YouTube blog states that:
“As we make improvements to Youtube.com, you’ll see them quickly follow on our mobile site, unlike native apps which are not updated as frequently.”
This should make it easier for mobile device-users to stay completely mobile, instead of being penalized for using a less power-hungry device than a desktop or laptop to perform simple online tasks. Hopefully, the technology can be applied to more sites.
The YouTube mobile site’s superiority to apps, even the app for the Android phones owned by Google, is not unintentional. According to an interview conducted by NewTeeVee.com with YouTube Mobile Product Manager Andrey Doronichev, the mobile site will allow the company to share revenue with content owners who are not attached to individual videos. Doronichev also said, “in the nearest future,” the new mobile site experiment will feature additional ad formats specifically designed for the mobile service.
PEW Internet and American Life Project
Janko Roettgers, YouTube Mobile Serves 100M Videos a Day, NewTeeVee.com
Tim Conneally, Increased mobile Web demands at the heart of new mobile YouTube, Beta News