If you’ve been using the YouTube app on your big screen television, you might have noticed a few changes over the last few days: a new sound and animation that appears when the app is launched, and the option to display comments next to what you’re watching.
The sound is official, and YouTube gave a lot of details about it in a blog post (opens in new tab)🇧🇷 Something “vibrant, engaging and easily recognizable” was needed, so YouTube enlisted the help of sound branding studio Antfood to get the perfect audio snippet.
According to YouTube, the three-second clip ranges from “rich, supple tones that signify YouTube’s irresistible gravitational pull” to a major seventh chord that “represents the way YouTube lets you explore the things you really care about.” ama” – and the sound and animation will apparently appear in more YouTube apps over time.
The other change in the YouTube app for TVs is not official, but it was spotted in reddit (opens in new tab) (through android police (opens in new tab)) and gives you the option to view the comments. Here at , we’ve also seen the feature appear on YouTube on an Android TV.
When viewing videos, you have the option to display comments in a sidebar on the right. It can be useful for those videos that have a lot of discussion below the line that you want to check out, but you still have to launch the mobile app if you want to respond to comments or add your own.
So far, YouTube hasn’t acknowledged that the comments feature is in testing, but it’s clearly visible to some users out there. Whether it will eventually roll out to everyone who uses YouTube on a TV remains to be seen.
Analysis: Keeping an eye on YouTube
Most of the changes to YouTube and similar apps are to keep more eyeballs on the app longer – which obviously drives engagement and advertising revenue. These latest updates might not seem very significant, but they can still make a big difference.
Netflix’s startup sound and animation is so well known that Netflix’s annual showcase of content is named after it. YouTube hopes that your own intro clip (opens in new tab) becomes as familiar to viewers and as famous as its static logo.
Adding comments will make the most difference to the actual viewing experience, as this is where a lot of important discussion and debate about a video takes place. With some clips, comments are just as interesting as the actual content.
It’s worth emphasizing that comments can be turned on and off, at least based on our tests – you won’t have to go through them all if you don’t want to. We’ll have to wait and see what YouTube says about this change officially when the time comes.