Fri. Apr 19th, 2024

There’s nothing more unhinged than the YouTube comments section. YouTube knows that we want to immerse ourselves in other peoples’ awful opinions, so it’s rolling out a redesigned smart TV app that places comments, video descriptions, and other “immersive” experiences front and center.

Jokes aside, this appears to be a very helpful and straightforward redesign. Anyone who’s tried reading YouTube video descriptions or comments on their smart TV knows that it’s a bad experience. You open the comments section, and it eats up half of your screen. It obscures the right-hand side of whatever video you’re watching, so it’s very hard to watch a video and read comments at the same time.

This redesign introduces a simple solution to YouTube’s dilemma. When you open the comments section, the video will automatically resize and fit itself on the left-hand side of your screen. The video will be slightly smaller than usual, of course, but it’ll return to full size when you close the comments.

For those who don’t know how to access video descriptions or comments on a smart TV—well, it isn’t the most intuitive process. You need to open a YouTube video, press a directional button on your remote to bring up the video overlay, and click the video’s title. I’m surprised that YouTube didn’t improve this process with its app redesign. A clearly labeled “comments” or “description” button seems like the ideal solution.

Anyway, YouTube says that this redesign will encourage more interactivity from smart TV viewers. Though I should clarify that “interactivity” means more than just “arguing with strangers on the internet.” Among other things, the redesigned smart TV interface will provide greater access to YouTube’s shopping experience, which places product links and images near a video’s description. The shopping experience is prominently featured in YouTube’s announcement of the app redesign.

This app redesign will take a few days to roll out. Presumably, all smart TVs and game consoles that support YouTube comments will receive the redesign. YouTube TV will gain a similar feature for its Views sidebar, which provides stats, key plays, scores, and other information for live sports games.

Source: YouTube

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By John P.

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