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YouTube morphs into TV-wannabe with a splat of social goo

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Identity farmer Google has redesigned its YouTube product to bring it more into line with the rest of the company's online estate.

Mountain View is also hoping to morph the service into a broadcaster that might eventually compete with other TV networks.

"Today we're introducing a new homepage, Channel design and a fresh coat of digital paint," Google said.

What that means is that the company is pushing its corporate media partners to the front on its website. Google calls it a "gateway to a vast entertainment universe".

Additionally, the firm wants its users to sign-up to the service either with their existing Gmail account or by creating a new YouTube log-in.

Either way, Google wants to lock in its users to its entire online empire by having one account to rule them all.

Like Facebook, the company is doing its meta-best to be the internet within the internet.

Arguably, it's not going too well over at the Google+ ranch right now, which is failing to produce the kind of referrals one might expect from a Mountain View product by now.

But the company is declining to comment on such metrics, preferring to claim that Google+ is getting plenty of traffic.

Here's the fun bit about how Google is trying to squirt its social goo directly at the enemy.

"On the left side of the homepage you can create your own, personal, customisable YouTube Channel line-up. Sign in, or create a YouTube account. Then you can browse recommended Channels; customise your homepage’s feed; even link your YouTube account to Google+ and Facebook to see what your friends are sharing."

Facebook users have long been able to share Google's video content on the dominant social network, but now when they do that there's an arguably much larger chance that some will defect to Google+ after clapping their eyes on it via YouTube.

Presumably, that's Google's hope anyway.

Facebook, for its part, doesn't seem all that bothered. Mark Zuckerberg sees Google+ as a "little version" of his own network.

As of today, YouTube has become much more corporate for viewers of the video content it streams.

"In July, we unveiled an experimental design called Cosmic Panda. We’ve used your feedback to improve our overall design, and today, we’re presenting a cleaner and simpler YouTube, with a consistent grey background, bigger video thumbnails and a more streamlined watch page," Google said.

It added that the design of YouTube's Channels page had also been rejigged to help users "find great videos".

New templates have been created for anyone who uploads videos to the site.

Google has more about hitting refresh on YouTube here. ®

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