Three years after first introducing its YouTube video service on wireless devices, Google announced a significant upgrade to the YouTubeYouTube mobile website, promising a faster, more user-friendly experience superior to native applications running on smartphones like rival Apple’s iPhone,
Initially launching in English only, with additional languages slated to roll out in the months ahead, the new YouTube site is optimized for iPhone and Android smartphone browsers–in addition to enhanced speeds, the revamp incorporates larger, more touch-friendly elements to improve video access as well as desktop features and functionality like search query suggestions, playlist creation and tools to designate “favorite,” “like” and “unlike” tags.
“As we make improvements to Youtube.com, you’ll see them quickly follow on our mobile site, unlike native apps which are not updated as frequently,” writes product manager Andrey Doronichev on the YouTube Blog.
According to Doronichev, YouTube consumption on mobile devices increased 160 percent in 2009 over the previous year, with mobile video playbacks now topping 100 million per day. “This is roughly the number of daily playbacks that YouTube.com was streaming when we joined forces with Google in 2006,” Doronichev adds.