We first saw the new Watch page in January, when the site started allowing users to opt-in to it. To test the new design, YouTube also rolled it out to around 10% of its users. Among those users, YouTube says that it has see a rise in engagement (which includes actions like ratings and leaving comments) by 7%, and an increase in the number of videos watched by 6%. Those may not sound like huge numbers, but given that this is the world's most popular video site, that translates into a lot of extra views.
So what changed? In short, everything is much cleaner. The YouTube team said that in 2009 the site added more features than they had in the two previous years combined, and things were getting cluttered. So they've decided to prune the hedges.
As we detailed when the redesign first become available, the new site has streamlined the page header to place a much greater emphasis on search. It has also abandoned YouTube's long-standing five star rating system in favor of a binary thumbs up/thumbs down system (a change that YouTube has discussed for months).
Less obvious changes: the more info' button, which used to be a bizarrely small link nestled under the video description, is now positioned directly under the video, with a much larger clickable area. The video uploader's screenname is now more prominently featured above the video, as is the Subscribe' button (there will be an opportunity for YouTube partners to brand this area). The related videos listing, which makes up the page's right column, will now be more consistently positioned. And you can now access the site's detailed viewing statistics simply by clicking on the viewcount (these used to be tucked under a 'stats' menu).
Information provided by CrunchBase
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