YouTube has launched a new beta interface for viewing videos. On every page, you can see a “Try out the NEW (beta) version of this page!” link, which will switch you to the new version, and you can switch back and forth easily.
Anyway, let’s take a look:
So, what’s different?
The URL ends in “&v3″, referring to this as the third version of the YouTube interface. Without the new interface, it’ll end in &v2.
Video description has been moved to below the video, with the upper-right hand corner containing a new “Director” box featuring three other videos by the video creator.
The tabbed box that used to have “Related” videos, “More from this user” and “Playlists” is gone. The Director box replaces the second one, and below that is a Related box, giving both prominent placement.
Below the related box is a Promoted Video box, with videos YouTube wants to feature. These used to be in a right sidebar, so the new box saves room on the page, especially all-important horizontal room for the video.
The video is larger on the page. Videos are roughly 480×395 on the page (including player controls).
Videos are also higher, do to the apparrent omission of the banner ad at the top of the page. Considering that on most pages there were only house ads (due to copyright concerns), this is a very good thing. Expect the ad to return on videos with a revenue sharing agreement.
The five links below a video (Save to Favorites, Add to Groups, Share Video, Post Video, and Flag as Inappropriate) have been replaced by four larger and more visual links for Save, Add to Playlists, Share, and Report.
Embed code, which is now below the video, includes an option to Customize this embed, which lets you choose whether to include related videos in your embed. The difference is a new “&rel0″ code at the end of the video URL in the embed code, when you don’t want related videos. The difference is not noticeable:
UPDATE: Ionut Alex reports that YouTube now uses Google Accounts, if you’d like, and the homepage has a box showing “Videos being watched right now”.