YouTube Bets Big On Mobile, Launches Re-Designed Mobile App To Compete With Facebook

YouTube has launched a re-designed mobile app, revealed numbers that indicate that mobile is driving the growth of the video social network.

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Last week Google reported a stellar Q2 2015 earnings for which CFO Ruth Porat credited the growth in YouTube revenues and strength in mobile search. Yesterday, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki speaking at the Vidcon event in Anaheim, California stated that YouTube watch time is now up over 60% year over year, the fastest growth rate seen in two years.

Addressing thousands of video content creators and fans who came together for the sixth annual year, Susan shrugged off competition worries. She also announced that YouTube has gained a new look available now to those using its Android app, accessing the site through a mobile web browser and promises the iOS app will be updated soon.

Re-designed mobile app

The new update introduces three new tabs, as stated on the YouTube official blog:

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1. Home: Easily explore and discover videos you’ll love with recommendations based on your watch history as well as playlists personalized just for you.

2. Subscriptions: Find the latest videos from your favorite channels and creators on the new Subscriptions tab. And to help make sure you never miss an upload, you can now tap the bell icon on the channels you love to get a notification as soon as a new video is posted.

3. Account: Check out your playlists, watch history, and the videos you’ve uploaded all in one spot.

With this update, you can also watch full-screen vertical videos with just a single tap. Apps like Periscope and Snapchat have embraced the growing trend of vertical footage and now YouTube has recognized its worth too, it now shows full-screen vertical videos in its Android app as well as for iOS.

Besides, with the redesigned app you can also take your creativity to new levels using a new set of video creation tools. “You’ve got an amazing camera in your phone or tablet, and now you can trim your footage, tint the image with filters, add music, and upload – all inside the app.”

Creators have been the backbone of YouTube’s success over the years. Keeping this in mind, YouTube also announced a new “diamond” playback button that creators with more than 10 million subscribers will get, joining the pre-existing gold button for those with 1 million subscribers and silver for those with 100,000 subscribers.

“YouTube succeeds only if you, our creators, succeed. You’re the reason that we’re all here today; you’re the reason that VidCon exists in the first place,” she said.

YouTube Stats

During the event Susan also shared some interesting growth numbers of YouTube:

1. More than 400 hours of content is now uploaded every minute to YouTube.

2. People watching YouTube per day is up 40% since last year, as measured comparing March 2014 to March 2015.

3. More than half of YouTube’s views come from mobile devices.

4. More than half of YouTube’s watch time happens on mobile devices.

5. YouTube partner revenue is up 50% compared to last year.

6. The number of channels earning six figures per year is up 50%. YouTube didn’t give the actual number of channels earning this way, however.

7. The top 100 channels in Google Preferred saw an over 70% increase in revenue over last year versus regular partners, which had a 50% rise.

8. The number of advertisers running video ads is up more than 40% over last year.

9. The top 100 advertisers (those with highest media spend on video ads) spending 60% more than last year.

2015 is already a year for videos and we are witnessing how Facebook has been aggressive about spoiling Google owned YouTube’s party. With 4 billion daily video views, Facebook is luring publishers and at the same time has introduced interesting product features.

However, YouTube is still holding the fort and has an aggressive focus on mobile. Additionally, Wall Street Journal recently reported that content creators have continued to find more success on YouTube. Looking at the numbers Susan shared at Vidcon about the creator earnings, Facebook will have to come up with real lucrative deals.

But at the same time there are reports that YouTube stars are also looking at other networks that are ready to host their content and share revenues.