Earlier this month, YouTube announced that a new channel design is coming for its users. Although new channels are currently still in limited beta, Intel was selected to be one of a handful of users and brands to participate in the new design before it was available to all users.
So what's the scoop with the new design? What's changed? And most importantly, will watching cat videos ever be the same? As the Intel YouTube Community Manager, I'll provide the 5 new key features of the new YouTube Channel design you need to know as well as tips and insights into how to utilize the new channel capibilities.
1.) Channel Art Optimized for Cross Devices
The new universal channel art is now optimized to fit to any screen from mobile devices to tablets and desktops. Check out how the new Intel YouTube Channel looks across different screens!
Tip: Keep your channel fresh with new art that represents a new product, theme or cultural event. Remember that your subscribers will come back regularly to your channel, so keep them engaged with a little surprise and delight. Get specifications for making channel art.
2.) Integration of Other Social Media Platforms Into Channel Header
Users now now have the ability to link to other social media sites directly in the channel header. You can include up to four other social media destinations that include everything from Pinterest to Linkedin.
Tip: Like many brands, Intel has other social media channels that we aim to promote and expose to our fans. By integrating links to Facebook, Pinterest, Google + and Twitter, now our fans can instantly connect with Intel on our other social properties.
3.) Shelves Are No Longer Just For Books:
This new feature called a "Shelve" is perhaps the most significant change with the new channel design. It is a great way to categorize both individual videos and/or playlists into one section or group on the channel homepage using the new tagging feature under Bulk Actions in the channel settings.
Tip: We used the shelves function to group videos and playlists together by audience interest such as content for developers, press, business, etc. Shelves can deliver relevant content without having to create several sub channels or pages. Another benefit for using Shelves is that all views and subscribers are consolidated on Channel Intel and not spread across several channels.
4.) New Channel Trailers for Unsubscribers
New channels have the capability to feature a trailer that will only appear to viewers who are not already subscribed to your channel. The autoplay function for the trailer is an effective and helpful way to increase the views of your trailer video while providing viewers with insight into the channel and its navigation.
Tip: The trailer is your chance to let visitors know what your channel is all about. You can feature something fun and timely, such as your very own "Harlem Shake" video that we've posted this week. One thing you don't want to forget in your trailer copy and video is to incorporate a strong call to action to tell users why they should subscribe (see red boxes above). Make sure to keep it short and to the point.
5.) Featured Other Relevant Channels on the Homepage
You can now feature other important channels prominently on your channel homepage. This new capability is a great way to cross-promote your brand partner channels and other relevant communities on YouTube. Users can also easily subscribe to the featured channels with a click of a button.
Tip: Intel used this feature to link our brand's geo channels to the global channel homepage. Users can now easily navigate to a country's YouTube channel and even subscribe to it directly via the global channel.
In summary, YouTube's new channel features and design provides brands with the tools to deliver fresh, relevant content through a simple interface that nearly any user can easily navigate. The new design also lends itself to minimal design maintenance across various devices while driving subscriptions and views.
We hope that our learnings will help get you ready for this new change and inspire you to optimize the new YouTube user experience.
Want more inspiration? Check out a couple of other users and brands who have also made the switch early to get a head start.