YouTube got a fresh new look on Wednesday, based in part on viewer feedback. But judging by the comments posted to the YouTube company blog, viewers aren't particularly impressed.
In January, YouTube began beta testing a new site layout, which reps said would simplify the viewing experience, and strip the Google-owned site of all the noisy clutter it has accumulated in recent years. Today, the YouTube redesign was rolled out – and it's definitely a doozy, affecting everything from the rating system (the new YouTube replaces the star rating system with a simple thumbs up or down) to the recommended videos column.
"As you may know, we're in the midst of one of the largest redesigns in YouTube's history: we're simplifying the look and functionality of the video page," YouTube software engineer Igor Kofman wrote on the company blog. "That's the page you see whenever a video plays, and this redesign is about going 'back to basics,' focusing attention on the reason why you came to YouTube in the first place – the video – and all the ways you engage with content and creators."
Kofman said the changes were in large part spurred on by comments from regular users. "We know this is a big change, but we hope you'll find the new page to be an improvement to your YouTube experience and to be a reflection of what you've told us thus far through your usage of the site and your comments to us," he wrote. Included in the redesign: a new "highlights view" for the comments section, a fresh playlist interface, and improved embed controls.