- YouTube appears to be testing a redesign that would emphasize Google+
- Images were found by some users and shared with tech blogs like the Next Web
- Users would see which videos their Circles have shared on Google's networking site
It appears that YouTube is getting a facelift. And Google+ might be a big part of the new look.
Tech blog the Next Web was one of several whose staffers caught a glimpse of a redesigned interface on the massively popular video-sharing site.
The changes, which are not in effect for most of the site's millions of users, appear to prominently integrate Google's social networking site, Google+, with YouTube (which is also owned by Google).
It's not unusual for Google to test new features by rolling them out to a handful of users. And a YouTube refresh would make sense, after recent touchups to Google Reader and Gmail. (Not that the Google Reader revamp worked for everyone.)
A YouTube spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
More prominently displaying Google+ "shares" on YouTube would continue Google's quest to integrate the social site with the rest of its network. The Facebook alternative rolled out to lots of fanfare in the tech community but has struggled to put a dent in Facebook's social-media dominance.
From the images shared with the Next Web (originally from a Thai social-networking blog), users would see prominent posts showing them which videos their friends (presumably people in their Google+ Circles) had shared on the site.
A user's channel subscriptions also would be prominently displayed in a column on the left of the page. That would presumably make people more likely to keep coming back for original content posted by channel owners than only popping onto YouTube when they had a particular video in mind.
Clicking the YouTube logo on the new design leads to what appears to be a "guide" page, although that page is currently blank, The Next Web reported.