YouTube beta testing stripped down "Feather" design
Google has introduced an opt-in beta for Feather, a new layout which strips away a lot of the excess from the standard page layout. According to the sign-up page, the goal is "to serve YouTube video watch pages with the lowest latency possible."
To make that possible, Feather does away with certain things like search suggestions and the ability to customize embeds (neither of which are huge losses). You'll also give up some socializing features - you can't rate or post comments, and you only get to read the top ten. Of course, by #11 YouTube comments have usually degraded into mindless prattle anyway, so you're not missing much there, either.
Right now, Feather only works on featured videos - but it could go site-wide at some point in the future.
This sure would be a good way for Google to save bandwidth at all those free wifi locations, wouldn't it? Google OS's Alex Chitu reports that Feather pages are about 1/8th (51KB vs. 391KB) the size of the current default.