The TV debut of YouTube Shorts has been officially announced. As of right now, viewers will be able to watch these brief video clips (60 seconds or less) at home on a huge screen. Over the next several weeks, YouTube Shorts will become available for smart TVs (models 2019 and later) and newer gaming consoles.
Neal Mohan, Chief Product Officer said “Bringing Shorts to our community has transformed the way people create and watch videos on YouTube. When we introduced this new format, we optimised the experience for the mobile creator and viewer. Today, we’re expanding viewing access to Shorts to our fastest-growing surface: the TV screen. While this may seem like a natural next step, an incredible amount of thought and care has gone into bringing this vertical, mobile-first experience to the big screen. In this next instalment of our Innovation Series, you’ll hear from two of the user experience (UX) design leads who made this leap a reality.”
YouTube Shorts for TV will be positioned with a white border in the centre of the screen. While the background theme will be based on the primary colour of the Shorts clip. The specific Shorts’ information will be displayed on the video’s side.
Its product managers, engineers, designers, and researchers from the Shorts and TV teams got together to talk about how to bring this new video format to the big screen, the business claimed in a statement announcing the launch. It was crucial that the Shorts experience on TV seemed both organic on a larger screen and aligned with what the community views on mobile.
YouTube has adopted a unique approach to our research and invited participants to write either “Love” or “Breakup” letters to describe their thoughts about short-form material on TV right now. The “love letters” revealed that consumers like watching stuff they enjoy conveniently with friends and family. The “breakup letters” revealed that users thought the platform may be awkward, sluggish to load, or lacking in essential capabilities like sharing.
As per the company, there are unique perks of watching Shorts on the big screen. Firstly YouTube Shorts are easier to watch with others, and the larger screen makes it a more comfortable viewing experience. In order to preserve the essence of Shorts with vertical videos on wide-screen TVs it has created three very different design concepts.
“We wanted to know if the unique feel of Shorts could be conveyed in our conventional video player (Option A) or if it should be customized to better fill the blank spaces on either side of the video (Option B). We also considered a divergent option — the “Jukebox” style (Option C)— where multiple Shorts would fill the screen at the same time, taking full advantage of the TV screen’s additional space,” YouTube blog post stated.
According to YouTube, feedback from the second round of study revealed that the Jukebox style (Option C) departed too much from the core of Shorts, which focuses on one video at a time, and that the delight of Shorts is lost in the consistent video player (Option A). The customized Shorts experience offers the best of both worlds: a simple design while maximising the additional space provided by the widescreen.
Moreover, users of YouTube Shorts on smart TVs must manually select the next Shorts using the remote because the videos do not automatically play. YouTube built two highly detailed prototypes of a customised Shorts video player using input from its most recent round of research. The business is currently attempting to strike a balance between a pure viewing experience and features that users have come to anticipate from Shorts and YouTube, such as comments, community actions (such as like and subscribe), and finding related videos.
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