YouTube upgrades get thumbs down from users

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Prominent YouTubers sound off on the site's recent changes to the independent content channels. 

“If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it,” said Jonathan Paula, the YouTuber behind the “Is It A Good Idea To Microwave This?” series, on the latest changes to the video-sharing site.

Last week, YouTube announced on its creators blog a new round of tweaks to the independent content channels, including changes to the layout, channel feeds, and a new analytics option, all of which are part of its Cosmic Panda redesign.

Few YouTubers have taken kindly to news, with most viewing the changes as unnecessary or cumbersome. The blog post has attracted 18 comments, a notable feat when the average number of comments hovers around five. Some even used the word “hate.”

“Essentially, any change, whether good or bad, seems completely unnecessary to me,” Paula said in an email to the Daily Dot, elaborating on the comment he left on the YouTube blog. “Why does Google feel compelled to radically resign their site every 18 months?”

“A huge part of YouTube bottom-line interaction is navigability... and by changing it, you're forcing your massive user-base to re-learn their way around the site,” continued Paula, a YouTube veteran since 2005, who has has been vocal about changes in the past to the Daily Dot. “It's not good for publishers, or viewers. The recent UI redesign of Gmail is a perfectly example of how to execute this change perfectly—update the look, and clean up the presentation *without* moving everything around and changing it. Give the user the ability to select which mode works best for them.”

Aspiring singer-songwriter and IT professional Daniel Tulloh, who goes by tulleuchen on YouTube, took issue with the size of the thumbnails, something Paula mentioned in a prior article on the changes.

“The thumbnails are just way too big for my tastes,” wrote Tulloh, who joined the site in 2006 and became a Machinima partner a couple days ago.

Tulloh also took issue with the new navigation feature, as well as the featured channels configuration, which now “doesn't show all the channels you had before by default,” he wrote.

Not everyone the Daily Dot contacted felt as strongly about the changes.

Dan Brown, who goes by Pogobat on YouTube, thought the new channels “look great—definitely more ‘professional’ than the current channel layout.”

Brown, also a YouTuber since 2006, did have some concerns, though.  

It appears the moderator module tool, which he finds “really helpful when it comes to connecting and doing interesting things with my audience,” will be phased out once all the changes go live.

If that happens, Brown said, “I'll be sending a strongly worded email.”

Photo by Lauren Orsini

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