Last week, Engadget reported that YouTube is testing out a new homepage layout, similar in design to the current Google Plus format. The new look puts an increased focus on channels and social integration, featuring more white space and a more prominent sidebar list of friends and channels. The fact that the redesign mimics the look of Google Plus is perhaps less than shocking, given that Google owns YouTube.
Six months ago YouTube underwent a profound update to its layout. The new look is dominated by a center feed that hosts video content. A list of categories and channels is positioned to the left, together with a pseudo-navigation bar that features links to connect social accounts, like Google Plus and Facebook. After opting in, tabs to view content that friends are viewing and sharing become part of the sidebar. The new layout also features various new templates that make it easier to customize channel content.
Almost one year ago, YouTube released “auto-generated channels,” which are channels created to focus on relevant topics. Recently, these channels, along with standard YouTube videos, have begun to show up in Google search results. With Google Plus members able to broadcast Google Hangouts On Air via their YouTube channel, an eventual merger of YouTube and Google Plus into one ginormous social network driven by the power of videos may be inevitable.