Like an incoming college student reinventing themselves amidst a campus full of strangers, YouTube went and got itself a fresh new look this summer.
Some of YouTube's changes, like a new logo designed to deemphasize the video sharing hub's legacy TV roots, are purely exercises in branding and marketing. But along with its fresh visual feel, YouTube's website and mobile app have quietly rolled out a slew of new features that make your favorite online video platform even better.
Here are five useful features recently added to YouTube that you may have missed.
Double-Tap to Rewind or Move Forward
Were you watching a YouTube video on your phone and suddenly spaced out? No problem: Just double-tap the left or right side of the video to move backwards or forwards in 10 second increments. It's a nifty feature that makes it a little easier to find a certain point in a YouTube clip.
Slow Down or Speed Up a Clip
Sometimes it's useful to slow down or speed up a YouTube video — say you're watching a sports highlight and want to slow the action, or you're trying to get to a certain point in the clip. The feature is now on YouTube's mobile app. When watching a video, tap the video once, then tap the triple-button icon in the top right corner. Then select "playback speed" and pick from the various options.
Desktop "Dark Theme"
YouTube's bright interface isn't for everybody. When surfing YouTube on your desktop or laptop, you can now switch to a "dark theme" that's particularly great for nighttime video binging. To activate YouTube's dark theme, click on your profile picture in the upper-right corner, then select "Dark Theme" in the dropdown menu.
Preview Videos Before You Watch
Another desktop YouTube tip: If you're trying to pick from a bunch of YouTube videos to watch but not ready to commit, try hovering your cursor over each video's thumbnail. You'll get a little video preview giving you a better idea of what each YouTube clip is about before pulling the trigger by clicking.
Related Videos On Mobile
Say you just finished watching a great YouTube video on your phone and you want to see what the site has that's similar. If you're watching in a computer browser, possibilities queue to the right under an "Up next" view.
With the new mobile version, you can tap the screen once while a video is playing in fullscreen mode, and YouTube will trot out a list of recommended clips related to the one you just watched.