Welcome to Our World...
For quite awhile we've been discussing how and when we should start integrating ourselves more within the YouTube community. There's obviously a multitude of reasons we want to do this. First and foremost, we need you. We need an open and honest discourse with our users to understand what works, what doesn't, what features you would really like to see, what little annoying things on the site really piss you off. We want to hear it all, the good, the bad and the ugly.
Secondly, we want you to know us, how we work, what we're doing and the challenges we deal with. We get such an intimate view (sometimes a little too 'intimate' admittedly) into the lives of so many of users, it's about time you start seeing us as well.
So, what have we been up to lately? Thanks to all of you, our growth has been absolutely phenomenal these past months. And as you can probably imagine, with such rapid growth comes a whole host of scalability problems. Believe me, these are the best kind of problems to have, but they are still problems none the less, and we've spent much of our time and energy focused on just dealing with the amount of traffic we're getting. This has been a bit frustrating for all of us, since it distracts us from improving the site and working on new features as much as we would like to. However, we're continuing to do things to improve the scalability and stability of our site which will give us more time to focus on what matters most - bringing you all the features you want to see.
We did push out some new features this week that we're all pretty excited about. We'd love to get your feedback. Seriously, developing features in a black box sucks, so let us know what you think.
For your viewing pleasure I put together some clips of all us here at YouTube (I have to admit to being an iMovie novice, so please excuse the amateur editing). The video opens in Chad's garage oh so many months sketching out the very first layout drawings of the site. That's Steve (our other fearless leader) taking the video and talking in the background. This is followed by our last day working in our VC's office, first days in our new office and out to dinner celebrating our funding close. No more hiding, you now get to see what true dorks we all really are.
That's all for now. We're committed to keeping you as closely involved and informed as possible with what's going on in our world, so please check back here often for more updates, features, ideas and feedback.
Here are all the new features we just released. Again, we encourage your thoughts, ideas and feedback.
- Logged In Home Page
We finally cleaned this page up. It's been one of my personal #1 pet peeves with the site that I'd rather see the logged out home page, than the logged in home page. Every single time I login, all I see is my subscribed videos, and all of the cool new content is pushed way down the page. So, we finally cleaned this up, and added a cool new scrolling format for viewing videos. We've also added this 'video inbox' idea. Basically anytime someone sends you a video, or you get a subscription, it will appear in your video 'inbox'.
- Subscriptions Center
Again, we just cleaned up the UI for this feature but we also added the ability to subscribe to tags. Conceptually, I really dig the idea of subscribing to tags, and I'm eager to see if the community uses this feature.
- New Video Player
New look and feel for the video player. Hopefully you all will find this cleaner and easier to use.
- Blocking/Reporting a User
Sure, we would all like to believe that people are basically good, but unfortuently the truth of the matter is on any site like ours, there are going to be problem users. Blocking a user is now the easiest way to stop a harassing or malicious user. From both your message center, and from the user's profile page, you can choose to block that user. This prevents the user from commenting on your videos, or sending you messages. Additionally, you can report a user to us from their profile page if you feel the user has been continuously abusing YouTube or posting offensive content.
- Message Center
We cleaned up some of the old annoying things about the message center, like not being able to delete new messages. Hopefully this will make the message center easier to use, and will help encourage inter member communications.
We added 'my recent videos' to all user profiles. This is really just a baby step towards us continuing to build out user profiles and allow for more customized content.