We've just rolled out a bunch of cool new features. Many of these come straight from requests or suggestions from all of you, so please keep those ideas coming.

  • Groups brings Tubers Together

    Sure, it's great to send your favorite videos to your friends and family, but now you can take it one step further and create (or join) groups to share and discuss videos with other YouTube members! Each group has it's own forum, and for added control the group founder can decide if they want the group to be public and open to everyone, or private where membership is granted by request or invitation only. As a group founder you get to choose a custom URL for the group - your very own little video home on the web! So whether you join a public group to connect with other members who have the same video interests that you do, or create a private group to securely share and discuss videos with your friends and family - there's a group for you. Getting started is easy, just click on the Groups tab and start browsing or creating!

  • I want my RSS!

    By popular demand, we've added a ton of new RSS feeds. You can now subscribe to several different feeds for categorized groups of videos (such as recently uploaded, recently featured, top viewed etc), as well as customized feeds for users and tags. You can even get a feed for this blog! Check out our new and improved RSS page and start subscribing!

  • Friends Reloaded

    One of the areas we get a lot of questions about is friends management - how to delete a friend, how to organize friends etc. Well, we've heard you loud and clear and have (hopefully) dramatically simplified this process. When you visit the Friends tab, you can now easily delete a friend, or create personalized contact lists with a simple click of the mouse (well, maybe two clicks, but it's still really easy).

  • Search and Ye Shall Find

    Searching on YouTube just got a whole lot easier. No more scrolling through pages and pages of search results to find the video you want, you can now filter your results by relevance, date added, title, view count or rating.

Happy New Years, Tubers! We hope you all had a restful and joyous holiday. 2005 went out with bang for us as our traffic has continued to soar to record numbers. However, as many of you noticed, the performance of our video upload process has been a bit lackluster the past few weeks. Recently, we've had users reporting video upload times anywhere from a few hours to a few days. First and foremost, we sincerely apologize for the degradation in service you may have experienced and any inconvenience it may have caused you. Bradley, our sys admin, explains in a bit more detail the issues we're encountering, what caused them and what we're doing about it:

Issue: Slow video uploads

Cause: Most consumer internet connections upload much slower than they download. So, uploading a 100 megabyte video via a DSL or cable modem will require a lot of time, upwards of multiple hours.

Resolution: We ask that for your patience when uploading large files. However, we are working on improving the upload page by adding a status tracker to let you know that the upload is still in progress.

Issue: Upload processing time. Some users are experiencing long waits during the "Processing" phase, after a video upload is complete.

Cause: Due to the extreme growth we've had recently (thanks!), we've started to run short on the servers required to perform this intensive task.

Resolution: Fortunately, we have plenty of machines on the way and expect this to be remedied shortly.

Issue: Video pausing. During peak hours users may occasionally notice that new or popular videos are slow to download, causing a pausing effect.

Cause: YouTube is currently serving over 45 terabytes of video per day. This is equal to 75,000 dial-up modems running at full speed for an entire day.

Resolution: To keep up with this demand and future growth, we're constantly working on ways to improve our internet connectivity. We expect some of our most recent additions to come online over the next few days and weeks.

So, while we're all extremely excited and thankful for the tremendous viral growth we've been experiencing, we've got a lot more bills to pay these days (including one for the kitchen sink we're finally getting - no more washing our coffee mugs in the bathroom!). Since YouTube's inception, one of the things we've been passionate, if not fanatical about, is that our service must always remain free to our users - no strings attached. In order to be able to keep this mantra, and not have to pass on a dime of costs to our users, we've started implementing some advertising on the site to help pay for our operating expenses (as well as that kitchen sink). Our goal is to not disrupt the video viewing experience in any way - and hopefully - if we do this right, we might even be able to enhance your experience.

Our mission at YouTube is simple, to provide our users with the best online video service imaginable, for free. Little things may change here and there on the site to continue to make that possible, but ultimately, the goal itself will never change.