YouTube's classic desktop interface will be gone for good next month

nanoguy

TS Addict
Staff member

Google introduced a new look for YouTube in 2017 for desktop browsers, which polarized its audience who either hated or loved the new experience. The company went on to make numerous tweaks, the last of which made video thumbnails a bit too large for comfort, prompting a wave of outrage from users all over the world.

However, the search giant has so far let users opt out of the new web interface and use the classic one instead. That changes next month, as Google says it will retire the older web interface, which means that you'll soon have to get used to the dreaded Material revamp, which is the de facto UI for YouTube moving forward.

Those of you using older browsers (but why?) may also get a less than ideal experience, so you'll have to update that to get the new UI to work correctly.

Google says the older web interface lacks many of the new features and design improvements introduced over the last three years, including a dark theme, picture-in-picture mode, and "top requests based on your feedback." It seems the company is confident that users want larger thumbnails, longer video titles, and manually combing through videos to train the algorithm to stop recommending things that don't match your interests.

The good news is that the transition won't be abrupt, so if you're still using the classic UI you'll start seeing a notification that asks you to "Switch to the new YouTube." The comments on YouTube's support forum show that a lot of users are dissatisfied with how the new UI works on their desktops, so we'll have to wait and see if Google decides to take that feedback into consideration.

To put things in perspective, Google is pushing the new YouTube because it's trying to graduate it into a profitable business. Expect to see more notifications to sign up for YouTube Music and YouTube Premium, which have 20 million paying subscribers as of writing. Ad revenue for 2019 was $15.15 billion, but despite it being a strong 36.5 percent jump compared to 2018, the profit Google makes from that after covering costs is still nebulous for investors.

In the meantime, Google will continue tweaking the web interface, so let's hope it will add a way to adjust the size of those thumbnails for those of us who want to make more efficient use of our screen real estate.

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Darth Shiv

TS Evangelist
The ads for YouTube Premium and the music subscription crap are so toxic. Really obnoxious. Makes me just not want to use the platform tbh.

They do dodgy **** like when you go to click to close a dialog they late load the Premium subscription link in that place so you accidentally click it.
 

VariableSpike

TS Rookie
Alternatives to YouTube?
Daily motion etc. obviously come to mind

In regards to something seeking to directly replace it, LBRY seems to be the best looking at the moment, but it is very much at risk of looking like Bitchute and just being stuffed full of Flat earthers and neo-nazi's etc. (as in actual ones!)
 
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Theinsanegamer

TS Evangelist
Alternatives to YouTube?
Nothing. The biggest issue is monetization. Youtube pays creators way more then competing sites, most dont pay creators at all, and even with all the ads and data harvesting youtube loses money every year.

Until someone finds a way to make their platform viable, there will be no youtube competitor. Bitchute has the best shot with its distributed content storage and donations tot he site directly, but it stalled out on growth, and honestly its search function SUCKS compared to youtube's.
 

picka

TS Booster
Nothing. The biggest issue is monetization. Youtube pays creators way more then competing sites, most dont pay creators at all, and even with all the ads and data harvesting youtube loses money every year.
Is that still the case? In the last quarter YouTube had over $5 billion in revenue, but Google never disclosed how much of that results in a profit. It's hard to believe that with that much money coming in they're not making a tidy profit on it.
 
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H3llion

TechSpot Paladin
Daily motion etc. obviously come to mind

In regards to something seeking to directly replace it, LBRY seems to be the best looking at the moment, but it is very much at risk of looking like Bitchute and just being stuffed full of Flat earthers and neo-nazi's etc. (as in actual ones!)
What a terrible name, they need a rebrand.
 

Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
Never fear .... as soon as it flops they will either go back to what viewers want or some enterprising person out there will make a competitor and invite everyone to join .... the simple business law of survival ....
 

picka

TS Booster
Whenever a popular site changes even slightly there are always a small number of luddites who moan and scream while the majority just gets on with it and accept the changes.

I remember The Guardian changing format (more modern looking) and the amount of bitching and moaning was ridiculous. People need to accept that sometimes design changes are made, for better or for worst. Same goes for other aspects of life.
 

captaincranky

TechSpot Addict
Never fear .... as soon as it flops they will either go back to what viewers want or some enterprising person out there will make a competitor and invite everyone to join .... the simple business law of survival ....
OTOH, if YouTube can't or isn't turning a profit, that might deter "competition

Although, starting a business with a no win business model, might encourage some former Movie Pass investors to take a shot at it.A fly on the wall at one of their board meetings might hear something like this, "we should go all in on this and try to steal YouTube's losses away from them".