New features for YouTube were introduced alongside the announcement of a major milestone.
Every month there are 1.5 billion logged in viewers on YouTube, which Google says is about 20% of the world’s population. These viewers are watching an hour per day on mobile devices alone. That should mean the 1 billion hours of video watched daily among all devices as of February 2017 has gone up a bit.
With the arrival of original programming and new formats of content, YouTube’s been able to maintain existing viewers while attract new ones. YouTube Red Originals, the collection of series and movies created by partners, have generated just under 250 million views since premiering in early 2016. An additional twelve projects are confirmed to be released later this year to build on the success.
And, to improve usability, YouTube’s mobile app will get two new features in the coming weeks.
A dedicated button for sharing videos has always been available in the YouTube app; however, the new version will be for sharing between friends without ever leaving YouTube. When you share a video, it’ll start a thread between anyone you’d like. The conversation then takes place through YouTube rather than an outside app.
The other new features involves playback on mobile devices. Video isn’t always recorded in the same orientation or aspect ratio, and devices are starting to be shipped with unusual display layouts. Take the Samsung Galaxy S8 and LG G6 for examples. Both phones have displays unlike anything we’ve seen before, but YouTube is combating this with dynamic adapt. The app will analyze the video’s format and your device’s display to fill to the screen appropriately. This goes for vertically-shot videos as well, which have long been forced to be squished between two black boxes to work with YouTube.
YouTube will continue announcing new features throughout the year.