On December 1st, 2011, YouTube released a video, “Get More Into YouTube,” that previewed and promoted its redesigned interface. The major focus of the redesign was to “channelize” YouTube by asking users to subscribe to the video feeds of particular content creators. YouTube has long had a subscription function but the redesigned interface makes this the primary feature of the website, framing YouTube as an entertainment destination like HBO instead of a place to search for the clips everyone is talking about. For many users, “Getting More Into YouTube” would mean abandoning their current habits and joining a “monetizable” niche demographic.
I am not as unsettled by this prospect as many of my colleagues or the 15,000 people who “disliked” the video announcing the website redesign, I am more concerned with the way YouTube, a website that originally promoted itself with the motto “broadcast yourself,” is abandoning its digital ethics to become a better version of television.Does this new design/focus change the ways in which YouTube operates as a "archetypal digital creative platform" (Gauntlett, p.89)?? Or is it just a more efficient way of organizing your own viewing/use experience? Or something else entirely?
Also - what does this redesign tell us about the ongoing struggle to curate, sort, filter, evaluate, make sense of, file and archive the endless reams of data and content available to us on these various platforms (or even the web more generally)?