In the upcoming months, YouTube is going to see some impressive updates. These updates will add new features to YouTube as a platform. Updates will include a dynamic video player, as well as a better way to watch virtual reality videos on YouTube. Susan Wojcicki, the CEO of YouTube, announced these updates, and several more, at VidCon. There are big plans for a better revenue stream, better virtual reality implementation and more. The new features will start rolling out in the upcoming weeks/months, both on the website and app versions.
Dynamic Video Player
The time where all videos have the same aspect ratio has passed by. Instagram introduced square videos, while on Facebook, you can regularly see videos filmed in portrait mode. So far, YouTube didn’t really seem to care about the changes in video aspect ratio. Your videos would always be displayed at the top of your screen, if you were using the YouTube app. If need be, black bars would be added to the sides if there was not enough video to cover it.
That is why one of the most anticipated YouTube updates is the dynamic video player. The update for the dynamic video player will appear this summer. Whether your video is in the shape of a square, portrait, or otherwise malformed, YouTube will play the video in the same size as it was filmed. You will never see any black bars on the sides of videos anymore. This is a much awaited update, as watching YouTube videos will be much less annoying.
VR180 Virtual Reality Videos
YouTube already supports virtual reality. These videos are in the form of 360 degrees videos, allowing you to look around in the actual video. While it is a nice feature, it is not convenient in reality, because you are not really doing anything. Because of this, YouTube is introducing VR180, which is a new virtual reality format. With VR180, you will actually get to see what is important to you. You will not miss out on anything because you haven’t turned back often.
With VR180, it is still possible for you to turn back, but nothing will be happening behind you. The new VR180 video format will start getting supported this summer. Lenovo and LG have already announced that they are working on video cameras that support this format.
Easier Video Sharing
With the new share feature, it will be possible to send directly send videos to your friends, without actually leaving the YouTube app. You can attach a message to the video, forward it to your contacts on YouTube and continue watching videos yourself. This new feature will start getting rolled out to a select few countries, including the United States of America. It is not yet clear if, or when the new video sharing feature will get rolled out to the entire world.
YouTube Red and YouTube TV Continue Growing
Even though YouTube is mostly known as a free video sharing service, the company is experiencing with several paid options in the United States. YouTube will keep looking into these experiments, as the company is still not making a profit. YouTube TV, a package of several popular TV channels, such as NBC and ESPN, is now also available in major cities. You can now subscribe to YouTube TV in cities such as Florida and Texas, among others.
Next to YouTube TV, there is also YouTube Red, which offers a variation of exclusive series and movies. At the moment, over thirty video series of well-known YouTubers can be found on YouTube Red. It is expected that the amount of exclusive content will keep growing. There are already plans for 12 new and exclusive content for YouTube Red.
YouTube also has more users than ever. To underline how essential and popular YouTube is, Susan Wojcicki also released usage reports/figures at VidCon. YouTube now gets around 1.5 billion logged in users every month. That is more than a fifth of the entire world population. In addition, these users watch a lot of videos. On average, a YouTube user watches an hour of videos a day, just on their smartphones or tablets alone. Combining that with PC users, and you will get an astronomical number of video hours watched on every single day.