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A Look Back as We Move Forward: YouTube Product Launches in 2011

By John Harding

VP, Engineering

We checked the calendar, and it looks like we’re just in time for the last acceptable moment for a 2011 re-cap post. From the zany to the educational, our engineering and product teams launched tons of features to make YouTube an even better place for both viewers and creators. Let’s look back at some of these:

We launched features to improve the viewing experience for the 800 million of you who visit YouTube each month, like:

  • A New Homepage and Design: Launched in December to help you to get more into the great content you love, with a customizable YouTube Channels line-up and feed of the latest activity and videos from your subscriptions.
  • YouTube Original Channels: Original Channels from well-known personalities from the TV, film, news, sports and other fields, to up-and-coming media companies, to some of YouTube’s existing partners. Full line-up here.
  • YouTube Politics: As we’re now in an election year in the United States, this Channel is your one-stop-shop to follow the latest political stories, connect with the candidates and keep your finger on the political pulse of the nation.
  • YouTube Rentals: From new releases to all-time classics, thousands of full-length films from major Hollywood studios are available to rent in the US, UK, Canada and Japan at  
  • YouTube Slam: Born on TestTube, this video discovery experiment was cooked up with folks from Google Research. Each week a new crop of videos battles head-to-head in Comedy, Cute, Music, Bizarre and Dance Slams, where your votes determine who wins the Slam and gets featured on the leaderboard.

Every minute, 48 hours of videos are uploaded to YouTube, so we’re always working to help you make your videos the best they can be:

  • YouTube Editor: The Editor team was busy in 2011, launching image stabilization for smoother videos, the Edit Video button for one-click video editing and enhancements, and including Creative Commons licenses building a library of millions of CC tagged videos.
  • YouTube Analytics: We love data, so we added even more features to help you examine and grow your audience through more detailed reporting.
  • More opportunities to make money from videos: We're also helping more uploaders make money from their videos. You might have noticed a button saying "Make money on your videos" last time you logged in to your YouTube account, which you might see if your account is in good standing and you’ve been adhering to our Community Guidelines. If you opt in, ads might run on your videos and you could start earning revenue. We've made this feature available to many account holders in the U.S. already, and over the coming months we'll be making it available to more people around the world.
  • No camera? No problem. With partners like Magisto, Vlix, GoAnimate and others, you can still create animated and personal videos to upload directly to YouTube.

With new features coming out every week, these examples are just a few of the launches in 2011. So, we also want to hear from you. What was your favorite YouTube product launch of 2011? Let us know by leaving a comment on the +YouTube page.

John Harding, VP Engineering, Recently Watched “Teahupoo from the Phantom HD Camera.”