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Release Notes: Find Facebook Friends, Total Video Views & More

By The YouTube Team

Here are a couple of things we launched recently:

Find your Facebook friends and Yahoo contacts on YouTube: In addition to finding your Gmail contacts on YouTube, now you can find and connect with the people you know on Facebook and Yahoo (that is, those who also have YouTube accounts and have connected their YouTube and Facebook accounts through AutoShare). Sign in and visit the homepage to be prompted with an invite (see screenshot below) to sync up your YouTube account to these platforms, and from there it should be easy to subscribe to the YouTube channels of people you know through these networks. Please note that this functionality is only available if your friends and contacts have allowed themselves to be found by their email address.

Total video views: Go to anyone's channel and now you can see how many views all of their uploads have received. This number can be added (or removed) from your own Profile by clicking "edit" on your channel's info module.

Cosmetic change to playlist display in search: When you search for playlists, we've changed the presentation of the results slightly, so that they are more strongly visually identified on the page. See how the thumbnails "cascade" here, indicating that this is actually a series of videos? In experiments, this layout didn't affect usage of playlists; we just like how it looks!

Recent Activity grouping/expansions: Turning on your activity feed means that anyone who's subscribed to you gets a notice in their feed when you favorite, comment on, rate videos and more (you can set up those preferences here). We've recently done some experimental upgrades focusing on grouping similar updates together. For example, now you can see when someone's favorited more than one video and what those videos are. Also, we'll now show things like "person A and five others favorited a video," which could be a strong signal to you that the video is getting circulated a lot among your friends and might be worth checking out.

New moderation options in Groups: Groups are a way for people with common interests to get together to talk about and post videos. Think Keyboard Cat fans or Nine Inch Nails enthusiasts -- whatever your interest, there's probably a group out there devoted to it. In an effort to improve group administration, we recently added a channel-style edit box at the top of Groups. Any group you are an owner of will have a full set of admin actions at the top of the page. From this interface, group owners can edit core settings of their group, like name and description, as well as set video and topic posting policies (see below). Both owners and moderators can use this interface to manage new topics and videos, streamlining the process of approving or rejecting group content.

We've also fixed a number of bugs, like removing owner approval requirements when replying to existing posts and preventing "ballot stuffing" for contest-oriented groups. Also, to encourage your friends to join and participate in groups that are important to you, your posts to public groups will soon find their way into your friends' homepage feeds, and the activity of other group members will also find their way into your homepage feed (all of the normal privacy options will apply, and we'll be adding new ones to allow more fine-grained control). We hope you find these new groups features useful and intuitive, and certainly let us know in the comments below what you think. Otherwise, why not create a group today?