Cosmic Panda B&W

YouTube's Cosmic Panda redesign draws video hate

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Who would hate a panda?

Especially a cosmic one?

Despite the cuddly name, not everyone is happy with YouTube’s experimental redesign. While some might deem the new layout, codenamed “Cosmic Panda,” more professional, classy or sophisticated, others are calling it ugly, confusing—even a massive mistake.

Some of the criticisms verge on the absurd. TheSeedCraft, known for his videos about the online game Terraria,  said the new YouTube layout is ”too much like WordPress,” the highly customizable blogging platform. (Given WordPress’s protean form—it’s impossible, really, to say what a WordPress site looks like—that makes as much sense as critiquing a skyscraper by saying it looks too much like a building.)

What TheSeedCraft really seems to be saying is that he prefers YouTube’s classic look, even though many deride it: “There’s a lot of haters out there.”



That nostalgic sentiment is echoed by many. In his review video, duncymatt1 said that YouTube’s designers “really need to stop tampering with it—it’s perfect as it is.”

Despite the juvenile username, CosmicPandaISGAY, an account created yesterday just to upload the video “Cosmic Panda Sucks”, offers legitimate complaints. Cosmic Panda, the video points out in a series of text-only frames, poses difficulties in navigating and customizing channels, and lacks banners for YouTube partners, the video creators who have agreed to split advertising revenues with YouTube..  

Jonathan Paula, a YouTube Partner and member of Ideo Productions, also takes issue with the lack of banners. He also pointed out the removal of support for custom HTML, a way to tailor the look of a YouTube page.

“It looks like a cheap blog in my opinion,” Paula wrote to the Daily Dot. “Any time you remove existing features and branding opportunities... It's a massive mistake. Everyone I've spoken with agrees.”

Paula’s biggest issue with Cosmic Panda is that it forces him to redesign the video thumbnails for his 750-some videos:  “It'd take me roughly 10 minutes per video...so we're talking about weeks of work. Which itself is terrible, but considering YouTube still maintains 4:3, and 16:9 aspects for the thumbnails in other locations,” the effort is considerable.

Spokespeople for YouTube, a subsidiary of Google, did not respond to a request for comment.