YouTube is retiring its classic browser user interface this spring, Google's subsidiary revealed on its support pages. The change will mark the end of a transitional design period of the world's most popular video platform.
For the past two and a half years, users not keen on Material Design were still able to revert back to the traditional YouTube UI on desktops. That option is now going away next month, a YouTube official wrote.
YouTube Classic's retirement still doesn't have a firm date attached to it. The removal of its support is likely to be gradual, much like its replacement began rolling out in stages three years ago.
Some users who are still on the traditional build of YouTube may also have to update their internet browsers before making the mandatory switch. Those will receive notifications informing them of that requirement, YouTube said.
While radically different to its predecessor, the modern version of YouTube is arguably more intuitive on desktops. It also includes some popular quality-of-life features such as Dark Mode support. As a matter of fact, YouTube cites that feature disparity as the main reason for discontinuing its Classic interface.
YouTube Classic still likely to live on via third-party software
The move isn't expected to prompt significant backlash from the the video platform's user base. After all, the vast majority of features unavailable in YouTube Classic came to be due to user feedback.
In other words, most should now consider YouTube's modern look to be vastly superior to its pre-Material-Design days. At least, that's what the company is hoping for.
That's pretty much what the company said as part of its latest announcement, stating "the new YouTube" is a vastly superior option to the traditional browser experience.
Users who are still loyal to that out-of-date service version will start seeing notifications prompting them to make a switch on their own from next month.
YouTube received its latest major makeover in late summer of 2017. Ever since then, users were still able to access the Classic browser UI by opting out of the redesign.
Maximizing watch time is quite obviously the focus of the new look. After all, watch time has been the most important performance indicator of YouTube videos for numerous years now. That focus is an extension of the company's overarching strategy devised to take on the TV industry directly.
Despite official support for YouTube Classic ending, third-party browser plugins and extensions will likely allow traditionalists to continue perusing it. YouTube will likely change more details on the transition in the coming weeks.