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YouTube Goes 'Mobile, Mobile, Mobile'

There’s no mistake where online video viewing trends are headed. YouTube is moving to keep pace with a major redesign of its mobile app, currently available for Android and coming soon to Apple devices. YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki unveiled the app this week at VidCon, adding: “We're focused on three top priorities: mobile, mobile and mobile!”

The new app allows users to watch videos on their mobile devices in vertical mode, and can alert users when a new video is posted on one of their subscribed channels, if desired. It features revamped recommendations and playlists, and should also make it easier to create and upload videos from smartphones, with editing and filtering functions like trimming, adding music, and tinting footage.

According to Wojcicki, the total amount of time spent watching YouTube videos on mobile devices increased 60% over the last year alone, outpacing the 40% increase in overall usage, and mobile ad revenue has doubled over the same time period. Meanwhile the number of advertisers using video ads has also jumped 40% year-over-year.

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YouTube is also working on expanding its “immersive” video offerings, which feature 360-degree, 3-D views; there’s an advertising angle too, as YouTube’s first immersive video ad debuted this week. The company is also working on a new YouTube Gaming service, which will compete with Twitch.

This column was previously published in Moblog on July 24, 2015.

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