YouTube’s New Look

Google and YouTube are making some major design changes for both its mobile and desktop apps. However, the biggest change of all is an all new logo for the online video service. As you can see above, the logo ditches the red color inside the “Tube” part of the name, and places the now familiar play icon to the left side of the YouTube name. Google says the change allows the YouTube logo to work better “across a variety of devices, even on the tiniest screens”.

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Along with the revamped logo, Google is now rolling out new design features that were previously available to a limited number of users for testing purposes. The desktop app will now officially have a look based on Material Design, and will include access to a dark theme, which should make videos pop out more.

The mobile app is also rolling out new features that have been previously reported to be in testing, including a new bottom navigation bar. The update will also allow videos to fill the screen, even if the clip is formatted horizontally, vertically, or in a square shape. Users of the mobile YouTube app will also be able to speed up or slow down the playback of a video with this new update, as they already can on the desktop.

Recent YouTube mobile updates have added features such as the ability to quickly go back or go forward 10 seconds in a clip by double tapping on the video. Today, Google announced that in a future update, it will add support for quickly switching between videos. Swiping left will let users go back to their previous video, and swiping right will let them go to the next clip. There’s no word yet on when this update will be released.

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Social Media Begins Responding to Fake News

Fake news is anything but fake, it is a very real problem. Both Facebook & YouTube which have been outlets for creators of fake news are starting to respond to this threat. In fact one of the biggest ways in which Russia interfered with the presidential election of 2016 was through the publishing of fake news stories which even included entire Facebook pages.

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Facebook’s Fake News Response

Facebook is launching a resource to help you spot false news and misleading information that spreads on its service.

The resource, similar to previous efforts around privacy and security, is basically a notification that pops up for a few days. Clicking on it takes you to tips and other information on how to spot false news and what to do about it.

Tips to spot false news include looking closely at website addresses to see if they are trying to spoof real news sites, and checking websites’ “about” sections for more information. Some sites might look like real news at first glance, but their “about” sections inform the visitor that they are in fact satire.

The new feature is part of a broader plan by Facebook to clamp down false news stories, which gained outsized attention in the months leading up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

False news, of course, was around long before the election. But supermarket tabloids peddling stories about aliens and celebrity miracles are less insidious than, say, “Pizzagate,” a false internet rumor that led a gunman to fire an assault weapon inside a Washington pizzeria in December.

This new resource should be launching soon. Watch for it.

YouTube’s Fake News Response

Youtube announced this past Thursday that is it is cracking down on fake news channels by no longer placing advertising on them until they’ve reached 10,000 overall views.

YouTube, which is owned by Alphabet Inc., also the parent company of Google, announced changes after several big companies pulled their advertising from the company because their ads were appearing with objectionable content.

The online video service said the changes are designed to make sure channels are legitimate and not stealing content.

In the past, the open-ended policy allowed amateur video creators to earn money and some work became viral and earned a considerable amount.

Several advertisers, including Walmart, General Motors, JPMorgan Chase, Pepsico, Starbucks and Johnson & Johnson, pulled out of YouTube after their ads appeared in extremist hate-speech videos.

YouTube, due to it’s reliance on advertisers and their growing reluctance to appear on fake news & hate filled stories is spearheading this response.

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YouTube Rumored to Launch Subscription Service

It is looking like YouTube will soon have a subscription option for its best original content. The service would more then likely offer ad-free streaming of certain video content that’s part of the program. The new subscription service would likely include videos from YouTube stars under the YouTube Originals banner.

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This service will probably be similar to YouTube Music Key, which provides ad-free access to select music videos and free streaming from Google Play Music for an introductory price of $7.99 per month.

YouTube’s move into a subscription model can be seen as a response to pressure from competitors like Vimeo, Hulu, Vessel, and others. These video services are working to entice video creators and YouTube stars to host their videos on their sites in exchange for a more lucrative percentage of ad revenue. By introducing a paid subscription service, YouTube would not only be able to funnel more money to its content creators, but also bolster its bottom line. With all of it’s success YouTube has essentially been breaking even for ten years now.

 

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YouTube Gets Kids Friendly

YouTube last week announced their first kid friendly service, YouTube Kids. The new service has launched today and is available on both Android and iOS devices.

YouTube Kids offers an experience designed specifically for younger video viewers. Included in the free app are several features such as a simple home screen with eight image tiles from popular children’s programs, different icons for finding TV show videos, music and educational shows and a voice-based search.

In the user interface below, you will notice that there are five large navigational icons at the top. When you tap on the TV icon, it will display the kid-friendly shows. Tapping on the radio icon will let users play music videos for popular kids songs and the light bulb icon is for educational programs. The binoculars icon indicates an “explore” feature, which contains the top featured videos. And the magnifying glass icon lets you search for all of the videos in YouTube Kids. Kids will be able to search for topics that range from animals to volcanoes. If a child writes a curse word in the search engine, then a message will pop up that says “Try something else.”

YouTube Kids

The app will also allow parents to set time limits on viewing, and will tell kids to “try something else” if they search for a more adult-theme term like “sex.” There’s also a tool for easy muting and unmuting.

YouTube was launched in 2005 and is now owned by Google. YouTube has had huge global success which can be seen by more than one billion users and even today continues to see rapid growth globally. YouTube is also something that people use on smartphones and tablets. As a matter of fact half of all YouTube videos are now viewed on mobile devices.

YouTube reports that they have spent months working to develop the new app for young viewers. The effort also involved bringing in third-party organizations like Common Sense Media, a child-focused review site to help parents navigate the often overwhelming landscape of TV, movies, video games and apps.

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Training Videos

Training Videos are a new feature of the West Chester Employee’s Technology Blog. From time to time I will try to post relevant training videos. In addition these training videos will always be easily available on the right sidebar of this fine blog.

You can always visit the new West Chester Tech Blog Youtube channel at www.youtube.com/wctechblog.

Of course if anyone has any training video suggestions please contact me.

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