YouTube today rolled out a major visual overhaul of its desktop website. The overhaul has been released after the online video streaming service celebrated turning 12 yesterday. The new user interface of YouTube on the web is in line with Google’s material design language. That’s why the new interface is sleeker and simpler than its predecessor. It’s also more consistent across devices. Some new features have been added as well including an optional dark theme.

Google has also made improvements to YouTube’s search and channel pages to put more focus on the video content. Aside from the optional dark mode, there’s also an improved theater mode for watching videos in a larger playing without having to switch to a full-screen view.

Significant changes have been made under the hood as well which many users won’t really find out about, but they are surely going to take advantage of its effects on YouTube on desktop. Google has rebuilt its video streaming website on top of Polymer which is an open source JavaScript library.

Polymer enables developers to create web components that they can re-use. “It’s less about a particular feature, and it’s more about the velocity of which things can be brought to market. This then enables us to explore and then do more things,” explains Manuel Bronstein, VP of Product Management at YouTube, of Polymer.

The Dark Theme is one of the options that has been made possible by Polymer. It can now be switched on with a simple toggle. This viewing mode will offer a more comfortable viewing experience when streaming video at night when the lights are off.

Google is going to see how the Dark Theme performs on the web before it decides to port it to other platforms. Mobile users will certainly love to have it on their devices.

Another major change is that the YouTube homepage will never reach the end now. It’s an endless list of recommendations now so you’re never out of content to discover. The list will include recommendations for both videos that you might be interested in watching and channels that you might want to subscribe to.

The new YouTube user experience for desktop users hasn’t been rolled out for everybody yet. Users can opt-in to try out the new experience by heading over to youtube.com/new. It’s likely going to place a cap on the number of people that are allowed to check out the new interface.

Filed in Web. Read more about Google and YouTube.

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