Google is Testing Material Design Changes for YouTube, But There is a Catch


Google introduced Material Design concept on mobile devices beginning with Android Lollipop. Ever since then, a good number of the company’s apps have taken this direction, but as mentioned, a lot of this is taking place in the Android ecosystem.

Google’s YouTube on the web is, actually, among the last of the company’s major apps that are making the switch this late. At the time of this writing, the video streaming and sharing app is going through Material Design tests, but this is happening for the web platform. Apparently, the update has been availed to a small set of users, however, it is possible for other users to try this out.

Just open any YouTube page on the web and you should notice a new toolbar with a search box. Towards the right, there is an icon for uploading as well as an overflow menu that gives users options to change country and language as well as do other things such as turning restricted mode on and off, sending feedback in addition to restoring the “classic” user interface. You will also notice a hamburger menu located to the left side and with it, you can see links to Home, Trending, History as well as a bunch of other categories.

The channel page has also received lots of changes, with the upper half receiving the most of them. The channel icons are now rounded with the details of the name, number of subscribers as well as the subscribe button appearing under a header image. You will notice the header’s color fade right into the background of the top half of the page, just like the typical Material Design. Tabs for Home, Playlist, Videos and more are located just underneath.


There are minor changes on the YouTube home page but the video player page receives no changes from the current appearance. However, if you are keen enough, you’ll notice rearranged buttons and info below the interface. The title of the video and play count are more conspicuous, with the liking, sharing and other buttons looking a lot cleaner than before.

As mentioned at the beginning, YouTube for Web is only but being tested for these Material Design changes and that it is available for a small number of users. However, it can be enabled such that any user can also enjoy the new changes. But this requires savvy users. If interested, you can go to Reddit  for more instructions on how to enable Material Design in YouTube for Web. Keep in mind that the trick has only been confirmed to work on Google Chrome.

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