YouTube Testing "Watch Later" Feature For Videos

I come across several articles everyday which are interesting to read, but cannot at that moment, due to lack of time. Thanks to services such as Instapaper, I am able to save that webpage URL and read it at a later time from anywhere. Of course, I could do that for pages with videos too, however, not the videos directly.

YouTube Watch Later

Today, I came across an interesting discovery on where they seem to be testing a new feature which will allow users to watch a video later on by queuing it to their profiles using a “Watch Later” option. The “Watch Later” option is seen as an overlay on the video itself.

YouTube Watch Later Clicked

When I clicked on “Watch Later”, nothing out of the ordinary happened, except for + sign disappearing from the box. However, I looked high and dry through my YouTube profile but could not find the location where the video was saved so that I could watch it at a later time. I believe that Google is basically just testing this feature out right now to see how many people are keen on using it.

I will keep digging around and update this post when I come across more information on this and where the “Watch Later” videos are actually saved.

YouTube Watch Later Store

Update: It looks like Google is testing this for couple of days now. I saw a post on YouTube forums and Yahoo Answers on this topic. I also found that the new YouTube homepage does not seem to show you the “Watch Later” videos. However, if you switch back to the old homepage, you will see the video as seen in the screenshot above.

YouTube Gets A New Homepage

is no doubt one of the biggest video service on the internet today serving more than 2 billion videos a day. However, it’s home page is definitely not one of the best and lacks a lot of personalization.

New YouTube Homepage

However, starting today, YouTube is experimenting with a new homepage which adds some much needed features to your homepage. Here are some of the new features which are included in the new homepage.

  • Combined list – Merges your subscriptions, friend activity, and recommendations into one easier-to-scan list
  • Don’t miss a video – If a channel uploads 4 videos in a day, you’ll see all 4 – instead of just the latest video
  • Delete anything – Hover over any video you don’t want to watch and click ‘x’
  • Or just grey it out – Videos you’ve already watched will be greyed out – so even without deleting, you’ll know where you left off
  • Help me re-find stuff I just watched – Your homepage will include your recent likes and favorites so you can easily get back to them
  • Easy inbox – Links to your inbox (personal messages & comments) are front and center
  • Load much more – Watch older videos – all without leaving the homepage

Some of the interesting features include combined list of subscriptions, friend activity and recommendation videos which makes it easier to find and watch videos. In addition to that there is also more focus on channels you subscribe to, so that you do  not miss any videos uploaded by your favorite folks.

In addition to that, you can also remove videos  you are not interested in from your homepage. Also videos you have already watched will be grayed out so that you know that you have already seen it without watching it again.

How To Get New YouTube Homepage

get_new_youtube_homepage

YouTube’s new homepage is about enhancing your personal experience, so it is currently available for logged in users. To experience the new homepage, visit youtube.com and click on the button "Try a different homepage". This will take you to another page where you need to opt-in. Once you have done that you can start using the new YouTube homepage.

If you are not logged in to YouTube, you can visit this page http://www.youtube.com/homepage_experiment, but it does not help much.

Have you used the new homepage on YouTube? What are your thoughts about it, feel free to share them with us through your comments.

Create a Video To Win a Free Sony Google TV From YouTube

Google TV allows users to surf through the Internet right from their television through specially designed set top boxes. The device brings the internet, television, apps and the world wide web to your living room so that you can forget the mouse and use the remote control for a wide screen video experience.

If you haven’t heard about Google TV yet, the following video gives a brief outline of what Google TV is all about:

Now if you want one of those devices, here is some good news.

YouTube is giving away 100 copies of free 46Sony Internet TVs, powered by Google TV. To enter the Google TV contest organized by YouTube, all you have to do is create a YouTube video telling why you’re pumped up about Google TV (no worries, you don’t need to own or purchase Google TV to enter the contest).

A panel of judges will review all the user submissions based on the originality, creativity and how well you explain why you are excited about Google TV, the results will be declared by January 20, 2011. The giveaway is only open to US residents, which is the only sad thing regarding the contest if you are living outside the U.S.

Oh and you also need to tag the video with ytgtvso that YouTube can show your video to the entire world. Here are the all the rules of the Google TV contest in full detail.

The last date of submissions is December 22, 2010. Time to rub some dust from your video camera, get a hair cut and let the camera roll for the Google TV contest. Good luck with your submissions !

Looking Back at 2010: Most Popular YouTube Videos of the Year

Most-Popular-YouTube-Videos-2010

It’s that time of the year again, when we pause and take a moment to look back at the days and months gone by. A few days back, Google unveiled its annual Zeitgeist video, which gave us a whirlwind tour of the defining moments of the year through Google products. Now, Google is looking back at the most popular videos of the year through YouTube.

While 2009 was the year of Susan Boyle, JK Wedding Videoand David After Dentist, 2010 gave us Auto-tune the news, Double Rainbow and the Old Spice man. As always, music videos were in high demand throughout the year. Unsurprisingly, Justin Bieber dominated the charts. The teen-sensation’s “Baby” is the most watched music video of the year (with more than 400 million views), followed by Shakira’s “Waka Waka” and Eminem’s “Love the Way You Lie”. Bieber also makes three other appearances in the top-ten list.

If we exclude videos from music labels, the Bed Intruder Song is the most watched video on YouTube. Greyson Chance, who has been dubbed as the next Bieber ended up in the third spot for his “Singing Paparazzi” video.

You can check out the most popular videos from 2010 at youtube.com/rewind.

Some YouTube Users Can Now Upload Videos Longer Than 15 Minutes

When YouTube increased the video time limit from 10 to 15 minutes earlier this year, users loved it. And now YouTube is going even further by removing that 15 minute restriction for many of its users. Exactly how much is the new time limit has not been specified by YouTube but it can be found by clicking on the Upload button from within your YouTube account.

This elimination of 15 minute restriction is being awarded as a bonus to users who have been nice. The official statement from YouTube explains:

Starting today, we’ll begin allowing selected users with a history of complying with the YouTube  Community Guidelines and our copyright rules to upload videos that are longer than 15 minutes.

YouTube is able to ease the limit due to increasingly advanced tools that copyright owners now have at their disposal. One of the primary tools available for that is YouTube’s Content ID system that can take any uploaded video and compare it against the massive archive of millions of videos YouTube has to find any copyright violations.

Remember that YouTube has just started rolling it out for selected users so it may be a few days before you see it applied to your account.

Add Useful Features To YouTube’s Video Player With EmbedPlus

Most of the video sharing websites provide a very basic video embed code to users, so that they can easily embed the video in their blog or websites. Embed Plus is a brilliant video embed tool which offers more flexible video embedding options for popular video sharing websites (e.g YouTube,Vimeo), so that you may add more features, controls, annotations and scene markers to the video you are embedding.

Embed plus’s video player is no different that other flash based video players, but it’s enriched with more controls and features. Some of the main features include movable zoom, slow motion or faster playbacks etc. You can also create custom annotations, add a suitable title or description or bookmark a particular video scene.

When the user is watching the video on your blog, he can jump to the specific “Scene marker” by clicking the forward or backward button in Embed Plus’s video player.

To get the customized video player for YouTube videos using Embed Plus, follow the simple steps mentioned below:

1. Copy the URL of the YouTube video which you want to embed on your website and paste it in the EmbedPlus Enter YouTube video URLtext field.


2. Next, select the height and width of the video player and start adding scene markers at specific times of the video. As an example, I have added 3 scene markers at 1minute 30 seconds, 3 minute and 4 minute respectively. You can also define a custom “Start time” for the video, this is useful when you want to skip the boring introduction part of a video and want the users to skip to a particular portion when they hit the “Play” button.


3. The next step involves adding custom text annotations to the video, it works the same way as YouTube’s annotation system – pick a time, add some text and hit the “Add” button to finish.

4. When you are done adding scene markers and annotations, hit the “Get Code” button to get the customized video player code for the YouTube video. Here is how   the YouTube video will look, once   embedded using EmbedPlus’s video player:

EmbedPlus also offers a   Bit.ly short URL of the enhanced video player (see example), so you can simply share the link with anyone without having to embed the video in your website. [ via ]

Example: Following is an example video embedded using the EmbedPlus service, you can jump to the scene markers by clicking the “Previous” and “Next” buttons.


Ally ASL Gets Back Her Account On YouTube, Thanks to the EFF

Allyson Townsend, better known as Ally ASL on YouTube is famous for translating songs by Kesha and Owl City into American Sign Language. She has gathered a huge fan base doing this. However Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group saw that as an infringement of copyright and ordered YouTube to have her account shut down.

Last week, the Electronic Frontier Foundation urged YouTube to reconsider its decision in the case and convinced it and both the music labels to reinstate the page in question.

Allyson Townsend approached the EFF for help when her account was seized. Her fan page has thousands of comments and around 90 videos of popular songs. Following the ban of her account, Townsend was forbidden from having any further accounts on YouTube as well.

In a world where freedom over the Internet is threatened by organizations like the RIAA, MPAA, other recording labels and other government agencies, EFF is the strongest contenders against these in the court of law. With an army of lawyers as its fleet, the EFF has a strong voice in the decisions that affect people over the Internet. However, this matter was solved through talks and without even taking it to the courts.

Cindy Cohn of the EFF, who led the talks with YouTube said,

The problem is that the various music groups hire zombies and trained monkeys who scour the Internet searching for any use of their licensed material regardless of the context or purpose,” Cohn said by phone on Monday. Often, this leads to flagged entries and complaints on sites like YouTube that really should have been approached with greater discretion.

No one here is the bad guy. However, these matters got so caught up in red tape, seemingly, no one actually bothered to read between the lines before signing off the ban. Matters like these should be handled with some respect and these recording labels can do better by hiring Allyson Townsend to do this full time.

(Source)

French Filmmakers to Get Royalty from Youtube

Screenwriters and filmmakers from the  Société des Auteurs et Compositeurs Dramatiques (SACD), Société Civile des Auteurs Multimedia, and the Société des auteurs dans les arts graphiques et plastiques in France will now get a royalty fee from YouTube.

Earlier this year, Google entered into another deal with the French music industry represented by the SACEM. Apparently, the French take their music and movies quite seriously. The agreement will be valid only when their videos come up when viewed from France, Belgium and Luxembourg. This includes all videos updated over a period of the last four years from 2007 and the deal ends in 2013.

A large part of the payment that YouTube pays will be received directly by the royalty society. In return, YouTube will have the permission to host the videos. Payments will be based on the number of views the videos get.

YouTube has been in trouble constantly for hosting video content that were claimed for copyright. On some instances, Google even had to block videos in some countries.  SACD director general Pascal Rogard has made an extremely optimistic comment on this saying,

This is a happy moment after nearly 10 years of misunderstanding. It shows that there is a middle ground between protecting authors’ rights and making [content] available online.

(Source)

Queen of England Set To Join Facebook

is set to get its share of Royalty with the Queen of England set to create here own Facebook fan page. Starting this Monday, fans of the Queen of England will be able to view royalty pictures, videos, news and speeches on Facebook.

Queen of England

Facebook though is not new to this kind of attention with US President Barack Obama already having his own fan page on the social networking site. With the Queen of England joining in, they definitely have a lot of royalty amongst them. Not to forget the huge brands and celebrities which have already been a part of Facebook for long.

According to the report from Sky News, the Queen already has her own Monarchy  account. However, the Facebook account has come almost a year after she opened her account. She also has a Royal account. Talk about social networking royalty.

YouTube Crosses 1 Billion Subscriptions, Announces Subscription Widget

As if 2 billion video views per day was not enough to crown as one of the biggest video sites in the world, they have now announced that they have crossed 1 billion subscriptions.

youtube_subscriptions

YouTube subscriptions basically allow users to subscribe to channels and users so that they can always stay updated on new videos from them. YouTube claims to be sending more than a billion subscription notification emails sent every week. 15 channels have more than one million subscribers, including the popular College Humor and Fail Blog channels.

YouTube has also announced a new subscription widget for video makers to embed in their website. This widget will allow users to subscribe to YouTube videos without having to visit YouTube itself. So are you subscribing to any YouTube channels? If not, check out the embedded video below to see how YouTube subscriptions work.