What Is YouTube’s ‘Panda’ Project All About?

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Google’s been busy recently. The launch of Google+ has also brought about a long-overdue revamp of the branding and styling found on other Google sites, giving all of them a unified new look. YouTube is no exception.

The new YouTube goes under the name “Cosmic Panda”, and you can get to it just by visiting youtube.com/cosmicpanda.

(MORE: Google Is Adding New Inbox Sorting Styles to Gmail)

What’s different? Quite a lot. The video player now sits on a dark background, which makes videos themselves pop a little more. It also provides more space for advertising, which sometimes appears to one side of the player, shunting the video across to other other side to make room.

Playlists and channel lists have been moved to a bar immediately below the player, where you’ll also find the video size widget, which lets you view larger versions or flip to full screen. Below that, the page hasn’t changed much – that’s where you’ll find the comments, assuming you can stand reading them.

Cosmic Panda also means more control for channel owners, who will get new page designs and customization options.

Reports that YouTube’s panda is related to Flickr’s panda that vomits rainbows remain unconfirmed at this time. Either way, it’s clear that pandas are highly valued web dev assets among the San Francisco tech community.

What do you think of Cosmic Panda? Does it do the job? Or do you prefer the old style YouTube?

MORE: YouTube’s Big Hollywood Push Goes Live

[via TechCrunch]