YouTube Adds Twitter Integration, More Features

Here's a little nugget just in case you've been sleeping under a gigantic boulder over the past year: Twitter is taking over the world. As the social networking site continues to infiltrate more and more areas of our lives, YouTube has now caved and integrated a Tweeting function into its site.

In the most recent wave of YouTube feature updates, users of the video sharing portal have gained access to a much needed Upload Progress Bar, a 'Simpler HD Parameter,' a 'Share to Twitter' button under the Share options, easier login via Google credentials, cleaner Watch pages, mobile access improvements and even an Education (EDU) Hub. Each aspect is more elaborately detailed below, and if you think you have even more ways to make YouTube better, head to the site's blog post and drop your response in the comments section.

* Upload Progress Bar: A new Flash uploader is up for all supported browsers and it comes with a long-awaited (and much-requested) feature: an upload progress bar that lets you know the status of your upload. Our next step will be providing the estimated video processing time for your upload.

* Simpler HD Parameter: We want to give you more control over how your video looks, including the option of it being eye-blazingly clear (HD), so we've now added an official URL parameter (hd=1) for sharing HD links.

* Tweet Tweet: Everyone's on The Twitter these days, so we've added a "share to Twitter" button under the Share options so you can easily send a video into your Twitterstream. (Feel free to change the prefilled text, if you like.) This was a big internal request, but we know many of you asked for it, too. We don't currently shorten the Video URL automagically but hope to get to it down the road.

* Do You EDU? Educational Hub Launches: Using YouTube as a vehicle to democratize learning is one of the coolest, unintended outcomes of its existence. YouTube EDU is a volunteer project sparked by a group of employees who wanted to find a better way to collect and highlight all the great educational content being uploaded to YouTube by colleges and universities. We'll feature some of these videos on the home page on Friday and elaborate further in a separate post on that day.

* Mobile Improvements: We're working hard to develop apps and a mobile Web site that enables the best possible video experience on as many devices as possible -- we recognize that mobile is a key component of how people will consume video in the future. So in addition to launching a new mobile landing page, we've cleaned up the upload flow from phone-to-YouTube so this should be a lot more smooth and intuitive now. More on this in a post this weekend.

*Easier to Log In With Google Credentials: If you have your YouTube account associated with your Google account, you no longer have to go to a separate page to log in to YouTube with your Google account information. It's all in one place at sign-in.

* Neater Watch Pages: Yes, sometimes YouTube can feel a bit cluttered, so last night we took some time to "clean up" the presentation on the watch page. Generally, we've heard from you that the action area on this page has been a bit confusing and should be made simpler. So we're streamlining the space beneath the player to better use the available real estate and to present all of the actions more consistently. Some changes you'll notice: a) the action links are a bit smaller and more condensed; b) we've eliminated the tabs for Comments, Statistics & Data and instead made all of these available in expandable sections (which you can collapse/uncollapse using the little arrow), making it easy to expose or hide information in a consistent way. As a side note, we've begun work on a broader watch page redesign to incorporate all the things we've learned since our last major change. Expect to see some ideas and concept sketches on the blog once we're further along.

* A Little Help for Your Friends: The process of connecting with your friends on YouTube will see some bigger improvements soon, but in the meantime, we've added the ability for you to send an invite and personalized note to a username or email address. There's also an instant friend link to instant message if that's your preferred mode of communication -- go to:

* New Names for Sponsored, Promoted and Featured Videos: We've done a bit of spring cleaning with regards to some of the nomenclature on the site. This post from yesterday tells the story.

Tags:  YouTube, video, Twitter, Tweet