A redesign of YouTube’s mobile platform was one of a number of key announcements made by Susan Wojcicki (pictured), the company's CEO, yesterday. Wojcicki gave the keynote address at VidCon in Anaheim, Calif., for the second straight year. She was greeted as a hero at the annual online video conference, receiving numerous rounds of applause during her talk.
She said mobile video is the top priority for YouTube, which is observing its 10th anniversary this year. That focus is borne out by the fact that more than half of all YouTube views are made via mobile devices -- and that revenue from its mobile platform has doubled since a year ago.
The new YouTube mobile app will highlight discovery and expression, said Wojcicki. Available now on Android, mobile Web and, before long, iOS, the app has new in-app recording and editing tools with filters and music, vertical video playback and what Wojcicki described as the most requested feature from video creators: a simple way for the creators' fans to opt in to all notifications from their channels.
Wojcicki also addressed virtual reality, calling it a "new frontier" for YouTube. The company plans to add 360-degree, 3D video support later this year that will enable an immersive virtual reality experience. Also, YouTube Space, the company’s fleet of development studios, will be upgraded with new Jump cameras that can capture 360-degree video to better facilitate the creation of immersive content.
3D support has the potential to be very popular with YouTube’s most rabid fans and users, gamers. Gaming videos, such as livestreaming gameplay and gaming commentary, are the most popular categories of videos on YouTube. Immersive video could make them even more beloved by such users as the maniacal fans of Minecraft.
Wojcicki emphasized that YouTube plans to keep investing in its creators. Two new YouTube Spaces will be added in Toronto and Mumbai, and will be open next year. Currently there are YouTube Space studios in Los Angeles, London, Tokyo, New York, Sao Paolo and Berlin.
A Billion Strong
YouTube now has more than 1 billion users. A recent Bank of America report placed YouTube’s value at more than $70 billion. YouTube’s parent company, Google, recently gave the video platform credit for the success of its own second fiscal quarter.
Also speaking at VidCon 2015 was the event’s founder, John Green, who gave YouTube ample credit for the success of the conference.
"None of this would’ve happened without YouTube," he said. "I couldn’t have imagined that YouTubers would be turning down traditional TV opportunities because, as a friend of mine recently said, ‘Why would I take a pay cut for the privilege of not owning my intellectual property?’ And I could never have imagined that 20,000 people would show up to a conference about YouTube."
Image credit: Google/YouTube.