YouTube CEO Unveils Mobile App Redesign at Vidcon

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki unveiled a redesigned mobile app for the platform in her keynote address Thursday at the Vidcon conference in Anaheim, Calif.

The new and improved app is already available on Android-powered devices, with iOs coming soon. The redesign simplifes the user interface, with three key tabs at the top of the screen facilitating easier access to the content users want to access most.

In addition, the app is getting new tool for capturing and editing video, as well as vertical-video playback. Playing to the crowd of mostly YouTube creators in the Vidcon audience, she also unveiled a highly sought after functionality that allows for fans to more easily opt into all notifications to subscribers on a given channel.

“We’re working hard to build the best mobile experience ever,” said Wojcicki.

The emphasis on the new app was not unexpected given YouTube’s oft-stated focus, which she joked could be boiled down into three priorities: “mobile, mobile, mobile.”

Wojcicki also announced that Toronto and Mumbai would be the newest host cities to the growing number of YouTube Spaces popping up around the globe, enabling creators to take advantage of state-of-the-art production facilities. The latest cutting-edge tool coming to the Spaces will be equipment that allow for shooting 360-degree video in 3D, a new area of development for the company.

The rest of Wojcicki’s keynote speech was focused on the growth of the YouTube platform over the first 10 years of its existence, highlighting the company’s role in the reinvention of TV as a medium, which she described as increasingly on-demand, global and diverse.

As a testament to YouTube’s ability to build digital-native talent into household names, she talked about Variety‘s recently released survey comparing the stature of mainstream celebrities relative to top YouTube talent. With an image of the latest cover of the magazine, featuring YouTuber PewDiePie, on the big screen behind her, she cited the growing number of influencers crossing over into other medium as well.

It was a theme she picked up on again in a conversation on stage following her speech with BroadbandTV CEO Shahrzad Rafati. Citing the growing number of platforms trying to challenge YouTube by luring away its talent base, Wojcicki expressed confidence that the new-media landscape isn’t a zero-sum game.

“Creators will try different things but they’ll come back to the place that generates the most success for them,” she said. “There’s lots of different types of media and we think it’s complementary to our business.”

She also cited the YouTube Originals initiative as a place that will keep the company’s best talent on the platform. On Wednesday, YouTube announced the hire of MTV programming chief Susanne Daniels to run the new division, which is focused on providing financial and production help to to YouTubers seeking to create more ambitious content.

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