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YouTube Redesigns Mobile Site: Touch Friendliness and Google-Controlled Ads

YouTube’s mobile site isn’t as effective or popular as it could be, and the company launched a redesigned version today that they hope will draw users away from external apps.

YouTube gets around 100 million visitors per day via mobile, which impressively enough is about the same number of visitors the full-fledged desktop site was getting when YouTube was acquired by Google back in 2006. But most of those 100 million visitors are using the YouTube iPhone app, rather than YouTube’s own mobile site.

That’s a problem for Google–on their own site, they can completely control the experience, including ad revenue, while they have to compete with Apple for ad space inside the iPhone app. So YouTube today announced a redesigned mobile YouTube site with the aim of drawing users away from apps and back to the browser.

The new m.youtube.com is an HTML5 site, with a new touch-friendly interface, higher quality video than in apps or ever before, and, as expected from Google, advanced search options. To demonstrate just how touch-friendly it is, the product supervisor who announced it actually navigated the site with his nose.

YouTube Mobile is available starting today for HTML5-compatible phones like the iPhone and Android phones. Notably, the new iPhone 4 is not supported quite yet–apparently there are some bugs, but YouTube plans to have it ready very soon.

Dan Nosowitz, the author of this post, can be followed on Twitter, corresponded with via email, and stalked in San Francisco (no link for that one–you’ll have to do the legwork yourself).

About the author

Dan Nosowitz is a freelance writer and editor who has written for Popular Science, The Awl, Gizmodo, Fast Company, BuzzFeed, and elsewhere. He holds an undergraduate degree from McGill University and currently lives in Brooklyn, because he has a beard and glasses and that's the law.

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