For most people, YouTube is nothing more than a video playground. A place to go when you have a few minutes to spare or you need a good laugh. But there are a few creative folks who have turned their YouTube efforts into a full time job and some have parlayed their popularity into legitimate celebrity status.
In between, you’ll find thousands of individuals and businesses who are using the platform as a way of reaching the masses with their message and those are the people who will benefit from YouTube’s One Channel design.
YouTube has been beta testing the new design for awhile now and last week they opened up to the public.
The main push is a design that is works across all formats, web, smartphone, tablet or TV. It gives the channel owner more options for expressing their personality and more control over what people see when they hit the channel.
When you make the switch, you’re prompted to make three big changes; create channel art, upload a welcome trailer and organize your playlists.
Here’s a look at the top half of a channel using the new design:
The header image is terrific but creating one is insane. I attempted to create mine using the same header art I use on my blog, which is just about the right size. Not. Instead of uploading a correctly sized banner, YouTube forces you to upload a full sheet of art over 2000 pixels in height. Then, it autocrops the middle of the page. You can scoot the crop a little right or left, but you can’t move it where ever you want. No matter how many times I tried it, I could not find a way to get my banner on the page. Here are the instructions if you want to give it a try.
When picking out a header image, remember that your icon is going to lay on top of it in the left corner (kind of like Facebook does it. . . ). When it works, it’s glorious. It’s branding at its best with links to your website and other social media links right there where everyone can click them.
Next is the welcome trailer.
This is a video overview of your channel. The cool thing is, it only shows up if the visitor hasn’t already subscribed to your channel. That way, you don’t waste precious above the fold space if someone is a regular visitor. For newbies, this trailer is a way of grabbing their attention and hopefully, at the end, they’ll click to subscribe.
This is the most powerful feature of YouTube One Channel. Don’t skip it. Yes, creating an excellent marking trailer is a lot of work, but once you get it done, it will pay off it new subscribers.
Finally, take advantage of the new organizational tools to create specialized playlists. You can group videos using a drop down list of common options, or you can create a list from tags. You can move your lists by dragging them up and down and delete the ones YouTube provides if they don’t suit you.
Overall, YouTube One Channel is designed to help you brand your space. The only downside, other than the header image issues, is the lack of color. It’s very sparse and loaded with white space. It makes all of the channels look very much alike, so use that header to your advantage if you want to stand out.
If you’re on YouTube, check out One Channel. Right now it’s an option, but it’s likely YouTube will force the change across the board in coming months.
What do you think of YouTube One Channel?