YouTube launches faster, more social and touch-friendly mobile site

A brand new YouTube Mobile site, built in HTML5 has launched globally, adding support for more devices and promising faster downloads, social connectivity through Facebook, Twitter, and Google Buzz, and incorporating a touch-friendly interface.

According to YouTube, the mobile device has become central to the video-sharing site’s growth. Its mobile version now receives more than 100-million views a day, and every single minute that passes, one hour of video is uploaded to YouTube from a mobile device.

The mobile internet is huge and growing fast. According to a Morgan Stanley report it’s projected that within five years more users will connect to the internet via mobile devices than desktop PCs.

YouTube says that consumption of its content via mobile devices has grown considerably: Playbacks were up 160% in 2009 over the previous year and its mobile site now receives more than 100-million video playbacks a day. This is roughly the number of daily playbacks the desktop site was streaming when the company joined forces with Google in 2006.

The world’s most popular online video service launched on mobile devices in 2007 with about 1 000 videos available on YouTube’s mobile site. While this suddenly opened up the possibility for users to access videos on-the-go, technological limitations prevented the mobile experience from being as rewarding as YouTube on the desktop.

The company believes that users want to find and access their favourite videos wherever they are. YouTube says its new mobile platform promises to make this a reality, for a number of reasons:

  • It’s faster.
  • The user interface incorporates larger, more touch-friendly elements, making it easier to access videos on the go.
  • It incorporates features and functionality from the “.com site”, like search query suggestions, the options to create playlists, the ability to designate “favourite,” “like” or “unlike” videos directly from your device.

The company says that regular improvements to its main site, YouTube.com will be reflected on the new mobile site, unlike native apps which are not updated as frequently. Some recent updates since the US launch are support across more platforms and more social sharing features from the YouTube Mobile site, such as Facebook, Twitter and Google Buzz.

Some of the countries consuming the most YouTube videos on mobiles include the UK, Japan and Mexico. In Africa, South African mobile YouTube consumption has been increasing massively, by 150% year-on-year.

  • YouTube’s new mobile site can be accessed here: m.youtube.com

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