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New features for YouTube

YouTubeTonight YouTube went down for a few hours for scheduled maintenance and came back up with a few new features. First is customized URLs, which allows you to "choose a customized URL for your channel, to make sharing your videos and favorites with friends easier." As I understand it this will allow video publishers to ditch URLs like and replace them with something more memorable. The second is YouTube Music, a new section for musicians to post their music videos. This presumably fits in with YouTube's plan to host "every music video ever created" and compete with MySpace Music, but so far it seems pretty incomplete--the YouTube Music section looks just like other channel areas on YouTube, making it very difficult to find your favorite artists. I can only assume this is slated to improve soon.

YouTubeYouTube has also made some minor refinements to the display that appears at the end of a video. Oh, and there's one other change worth mentioning: They changed their "Play" button. The round Play button that used to appear on YouTube videos embedded in other web sites has been replaced by a more distinctive lozenge shape. The control area still looks as ugly as ever, though.

Update: There's now an post on the official YouTube blog discussing the changes.

Tags: features, myspace, video, youtube