Mobile users in the UK, Europe and Middle East can now access an HTML 5 version of Google’s YouTube video site, speeding up access for those accessing it via iPhones, Android or other mobile devices with browsers able to render HTML 5 video content. The US version of the HTML 5 site for mobiles was launched last month and the first demos in HTML5 were back in January (http://youtube-global.blogspot.com/2010/01/introducing-youtube-html5-supported.html) .
The launch comes as mobile use of the web is growing rapidly: Google says that YouTube’s mobile site, m.youtube.com, gets more than 100m video playbacks a day – roughly the number of daily views youtube.com was getting when they were acquired by Google in the heady days of 2006 – and every minute an hour of video is uploaded to the site from a mobile device, but still small beer compared to the full site which sees 24 hours of video uploaded every minute. Mobile video playback also grew by 160% in 2009 on the previous year, along with an increase in adoption of devices able to stream video.
Across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the UK consumes the most YouTube videos on mobile devices, followed by France, Italy, Netherlands and Switzerland.
The new site also includes enhanced social networking features to make it easier to share video links on Twitter, Facebook and Google Buzz, as well as “touch-friendly” elements, to make it easier for users with touch-screen devices to access videos. Users will also be able to “like” or “unlike” their favourite videos.
“Today, more than ever, YouTube knows that you want to be able to find and access your favourite videos wherever you are,” said Google in a statement. “That’s why we’re rolling out an updated version of the mobile site. As the world continues to go mobile, YouTube thinks this new site will offer a great improvement for anyone who wants a more consistent YouTube experience across devices.”