Fireside Hangouts: Join President Obama on Google+ after the State of the Union

When President Obama heads to a joint session of Congress tomorrow night, he’ll be honoring the 200-year old tradition of delivering the State of the Union to Congress and the American people. Two days later, the President will turn to Google+ to continue a more recent tradition, by taking questions online after his speech. You can tune in to the Hangout this Thursday at 4:50 p.m. ET.

Much like the Fireside Hangouts held by Vice President Biden and Domestic Policy Director Cecilia Munoz over the past few weeks, the President’s Fireside Hangout will include a group of people who regularly discuss important issues of the day online. During the conversation, the selected participants will ask the President their own questions—but we’d also like to hear from you before the Hangout. To let the President know what’s on your mind, head to the White House YouTube channel and submit a video or text question. You can submit or vote on questions you’d like to hear him address until 11:59 p.m. ET on Wednesday, February 13.

Looking for inspiration for your question? Watch the President’s State of the Union speech on YouTube tomorrow night at 9 p.m. ET, as well as the Republican response from Senator Marco Rubio directly afterwards.

Then tune in to Thursday’s Fireside Hangout on the White House Google+ page or YouTube channel for a unique online discussion between the President and the American people on Google+.

Google and Brazil celebrate Carnival 2013

Ask any person who’s never traveled to Brazil what he knows about the country and it’s likely that one of their first responses is: Carnival (or Carnaval in Portuguese). It's no wonder: Carnival is one of the largest celebrations on the planet. As a Brazilian, I can also say that it represents much of what’s wonderful about our country—joy, cultural richness and musical diversity.

From Feb 7-12, YouTube will bring Carnival to the world for the third year in a row—giving you a front-row seat to the entire celebration on the YouTube Carnival channel.

The best Carnival is the one you choose, anytime, anywhere
What better way to experience a party the size of Brazil than by connecting to the rhythms and local traditions of six different cities—from Rio de Janeiro’s samba and Salvador’s axé to southern Brazil’s frevo. This year, you’ll be able to enjoy the festivities of Salvador, Rio de Janeiro, Olinda, São Luís do Maranhão, Ouro Preto and Pirenópolis.

Pick from a series of live feeds, camera angles and performances from the city of your choice, right in the middle of the party. Channel feeds are made possible by a combination of YouTube Live and Google+ Hangouts. In total, you can access a total of 150 hours of live Carnival feeds—from your laptop, tablet or smartphone.

Here’s a little more detail on some of the celebrations:

  • YouTube from Rio de Janeiro—From Feb 8-12, you can dance as much samba as you want, as you watch the attractions of the Circo Voador concert hall or check out the calmer celebrations of Terreirão do Samba, a venue that receives various samba musicians and afternoon concert sessions throughout the year.
  • YouTube from Salvador de Bahia—For the third year in a row, you’ll be able to check out the best of Salvador’s famed Carnival route, Barra-Ondina. However this time, you’ll be able to choose from four different camera feeds located throughout the Carnival route, so you don’t miss your favorite carnival band. Follow Salvador’s most famous carnival artists such as Claudia Leitte, Chiclete com Banana, Asa de Águia, Ivete Sangalo and others as their mobile stages advance through the circuit.

Google+ joins the party
Everyone knows that a good party generates great photos. That’s why we’ve also joined with photographers who will be uploading pictures daily of Carnaval’s best moments from 20 different Brazilian cities at Google+ Carnaval.

Find the entire agenda of this year’s Carnival events at To keep track of your favorite events and the artists you want to see, download the Carnaval 2013 extension from the Chrome Web Store, and make sure not to miss a beat.

M&M’s, Beyonce and Ravens dominate game day searches on Google

This year’s big game was filled with action—brothers battled on the field and a 34-minute-long power outage nearly turned the tide of the game. With all the excitement on the field, we looked online to see what fans across the U.S. were searching for during the game.

Overall, the top trending searches on Google during the game were:
  1. M&M’s
  2. Beyonce
  3. Baltimore Ravens
  4. San Francisco 49ers
  5. Colin Kaepernick
Other noteworthy trending searches include those about the power outage, which started trending mid-game and ended up ranking eighth out of the most-searched terms during game time. Searches for Beyonce spiked dramatically during her halftime show. And showing that ads drive consumer interest, searches for Chrysler spiked significantly after their fourth quarter commercial.

The most searched team: The Ravens
As they did in the game, the Ravens narrowly beat out the 49ers as the most searched team during the game on Google. The most searched players of the game were Colin Kaepernick, Joe Flacco, Michael Oher, David Akers and Jacoby Jones—thanks to his 108-yard kickoff return.

The Harbaugh brothers’ on-field battle has been one of the big stories of the game, so it’s no surprise that viewers took to the web to find more information on these coaches. While John Harbaugh took home the trophy, Jim was the most searched brother on Google.

Game day commercials
Lastly, it’s not game day without the commercials. Fans were seeking out commercials online throughout the game, driving searches for big game ads on Google 55 times higher this Sunday than the same time last week. The most searched for commercials on YouTube were ads from M&M’s, Mercedes-Benz, Disney’s “Oz Great and Powerful,” Lincoln, and Audi. Searches for "Gangnam Style" were also trending on YouTube, along with searches for big game performers Alicia Keys and Beyonce.

This year many advertisers turned to YouTube to share game day ads and teaser videos in the weeks leading up to the game. In 2013, big game ads or ad teasers were watched more than 66 million times on YouTube before game day.

Now that you’ve seen all the ads, vote for your favorite one on either the YouTube Ad Blitz channel or now through February 11. The winners of the Ad Blitz will be announced on the YouTube homepage on February 16.

Will you be Monday-morning quarterbacking the game or the ads?

Introducing a new YouTube app for your iPhone and iPod touch

For all you diehard YouTube fans out there who can’t get enough YouTube on your mobile, we’ve got some great news: starting today, you can download the official YouTube app for iPhone and iPod touch from the App Store, bringing you more of the videos you love and more ways to share them with the people you care about.

The new app is built by YouTube engineers, to give our iPhone and iPod touch users the best mobile experience. Here’s what you’ll find:

Tens of thousands more videos: Watch official music videos like Taylor’s latest hit.

New YouTube channel guide: Swipe your finger from the left edge of the screen to reveal a guide with your subscribed channels on YouTube, giving you instant access to everything from Alli Sports to YOMYOMF.

Find awesome videos faster: Get to videos like “Gangnam Style” faster with new search tools that give suggestions while you type, and let you sort through videos or channels. Flip through related videos, comments and more info, all while watching a video.

More ways to share with the people you love: Share that incredible video you found on YouTube on Google+, Facebook or text message in the app, as well as from Twitter and email.

There’s even more to explore with the new YouTube app for iPhone and iPod touch, available for download from the App Store today. We’re working on an optimized version of the YouTube app for iPad in the coming months, and stay tuned for more details.

You’ve already shown us you love YouTube on mobile—to the tune of 1 billion mobile views a day—so we can’t wait to see what you think about this new experience.

(Cross-posted on the YouTube blog)

The U.S. election, live on YouTube

Today we’re introducing the YouTube Elections Hub, a one-stop channel for key political moments from now through the upcoming U.S. election day on November 6. You can watch all of the live speeches from the floor of the upcoming Republican and Democratic National Conventions, see Google+ Hangouts with power brokers behind the scenes, and watch a live stream of the official Presidential and Vice Presidential debates. You won’t need to go anywhere else for the must-watch moments of this election cycle...they’re all happening on the Hub live.

In addition to videos from politicians and parties, a diverse range of news organizations—both established names in media and sought-after new voices—are sharing their coverage of the political process on the new hub. You’ll find live and on-demand reporting and analysis from ABC News, Al Jazeera English, BuzzFeed, Larry King, The New York Times, Phil DeFranco, Univision and the Wall Street Journal. Each will put their own stamp on the Presidential race—from the conventions to the debates to election night.

Of course, we’ll have special live coverage around the Republican National Convention from August 27 to 30, the Democratic National Convention from September 4-6, the Presidential and Vice Presidential debates in October, and election night. Bookmark the Elections Hub now for a front row seat along the road to the White House.

(Cross-posted from the YouTube Blog)

Ramadan traditions with a digital twist

Today, more than a billion Muslims around the world begin to observe the holy month of Ramadan, fasting from dawn to sunset. This year, we’re bringing some of the most venerable Ramadan traditions online.

We’re sharing the Islamic prayers live from Mecca on a dedicated YouTube channel. Millions of people from around the world will be able to experience and comment on the event by tuning in via video.

Ramadan is about more than just prayer; it is also a special moment to gather with friends and family. Muslims gather to watch special television shows produced for the holiday and shown only during Ramadan. Often the shows overlap in scheduling. This year, for the first time, YouTube is enabling people to watch their favorite shows anytime, anywhere. A new YouTube Ramadan channel lets viewers see more than 50 premium Ramadan shows the same day they air. In the clip below, famed Syrian actor Jamal Suliman appears in a drama:

Ramadan’s tastiest tradition is the food. After fasting through the day, families gather for evening break-the-fast meals called Iftar. Through Google+ Hangouts, we’re hosting 30 virtual get-togethers in the 30 days of Ramadan, in which celebrity chefs will share their favorite recipes and doctors will give tips on eating healthy.

The hangouts will engage people in subjects far beyond eating. Actors will talk about their favorite Ramadan shows. Poets will discuss literature inspired by the holiday. Religious figures will answer questions. Stay tuned to the Google Arabia page on Google+ for more details and join in.

We hope you enjoy experiencing your favorite Ramadan traditions with a digital twist this year. Ramadan Kareem!

YouTube Marketing Ambassadors play big at Google

From time to time, we post about how entrepreneurs have used Google tools to build successful businesses—both on and offline. Today, we’re recognizing a group of businesses that have used a particular online platform—YouTube—to grow their customer base. - Ed.

You’d be hard pressed to run into someone who hasn’t heard of a musician or two that have gotten their big break on YouTube (Justin Bieber ring a bell?). But success on YouTube isn’t limited to aspiring celebrities: we’ve also seen a growing number of businesses that have either gotten their start on YouTube or grown an existing business with video.

To recognize these businesses and their work in fostering a culture of entrepreneurship on YouTube, we’re introducing our first ever YouTube Marketing Ambassadors—a group of outstanding organizations that have used YouTube to drive sales and grow operations. We’ve invited nine businesses from across the country to participate in this program, and last week our YouTube Ambassadors joined us at our headquarters for a two-day summit to meet with executives and learn more about online tools for businesses.

Hanging out with our Ambassadors at the YouTube headquarters. Check out more photos on Google+. Photo credit: Bryan Davis.

Our Ambassadors span a variety of industries, from knitting to motorcycle gear to musical education. Each has a unique customer base and distinct business objectives, and yet, video has helped each and every one of them achieve their goals:

Find new customers from around the corner and across the world
  • (Boston, Mass.) - is the award-winning online extension school of Boston's Berklee College of Music. To encourage enrollment for online courses, this renowned school posts video music lessons and in-depth clinics with professors to give prospective students a true-to-life preview of online study with Bringing access to Berklee’s acclaimed curriculum to students around the world, has taught over 30,000 students from 135 countries since 2002.
  • Undercover Tourist (Daytona Beach, Fla.) - If you’ve ever planned a theme park vacation and wanted more than what’s offered in travel guides, you’re not alone. This travel business uses first-person videos to show the rides, shows and experiences offered at their partner destinations in Florida to potential customers around the world. The destinations now attract approximately 14% of their customers from the U.K., Australia, and Germany.
  • (Austin, Tex.) - Owner Staci Perry discovered a global classroom on YouTube, and now she offers knitting instruction classes and patterns online as a full-time business. Thanks to Google Translate and closed captioning on her videos, she has students in Greece, Turkey, Thailand, Italy, India and Syria—just to name a few.
Spark a conversation
  • ModCloth (San Francisco, Calif.) - ModCloth, an online retailer selling vintage-inspired clothing, engages fans with how-to tutorials, behind the scenes tours and DIY videos (ever try your hand at DIY studded socks?). Their video contests have earned them nearly a million video views from happy ModCloth brand evangelists.
  • Richard Petty Driving Experience (Concord, N.C.) - To show that there’s nothing quite like being behind the wheel of a NASCAR race car, the Richard Petty Driving Experience team records celebrity customers’ reactions after their final lap around the racetrack and uses the videos as compelling testimonials.
  • Rokenbok (Solano Beach, Calif.) - This toy company transformed itself into an e-commerce powerhouse, gaining 50% of all customers from their YouTube videos. They also encourage fans to upload their own videos, which they regularly feature on their YouTube channel.
Launch a new product
  • BBQ Guys (Baton Rouge, La.) - To showcase their collection of high-end BBQ grills, the BBQ Guys film video reviews of new products so customers can get a personal walk-through of all the features and how they perform in action.
  • RevZilla (Philadelphia, Pa.) - RevZilla co-founder Anthony Bucci deconstructs highly technical motorcycle gear through simple video reviews, giving tips on sizing and features. They’ve filmed more than 1,400 videos to help motorcyclists shop with confidence.
  • Zagg (Salt Lake City, Utah) - ZAGG drives traffic to their website with engaging scratch test TrueView video ads showcasing their clear protective shield for electronics. Their iPhone 4 Scratch Test alone has more than two million views.
We’ve awarded these Ambassadors with a badge for their YouTube channel and retail storefront, and will feature them on the YouTube homepage. To pay it forward, each Ambassador will mentor a nonprofit organization of their choice on how to get started with a video presence on YouTube. They’ll also host Google+ Hangouts throughout the year to share their strategies. To find out when the Ambassadors will be hosting a Hangout, stay tuned to our YouTube for marketers Google+ page.

Meet one of our Ambassadors, Rokenbok toy company

To learn more about how to bring your business to life with YouTube, visit the Get Started page, or if you already have a video and want to learn how to promote it, read about the new AdWords for video on the YouTube blog.

Ideas worthy of space travel: The YouTube Space Lab global winners

Can you teach an old spider new tricks? Could better understanding alien superbugs cure diseases on Earth? These are the questions that will be asked by the two winning experiments of YouTube Space Lab, the science competition that challenged students from 14 to 18 years old to design a science experiment that could be performed in space. Your votes and our expert judges chose the winners from thousands of entries from around the world. Experiments submitted by Dorothy and Sara, from Troy, Mich., U.S. (winners in the 14-16-year-old age group) and Amr from Alexandria, Egypt (winner in the 17-18-year-old age group) will be performed aboard the International Space Station and live streamed to the world on YouTube.

Meet Amr from Alexandria, Egypt
Global Winner, 17-18-year-old age group:

Meet Dorothy and Sara from Troy, Mich., U.S.
Global Winners, 14-16-year-old age group:

Sunita Williams—the NASA astronaut who’ll fly to the International Space Station later this year and perform the winning experiments live on YouTube—announced the global winners at a special ceremony in Washington, D.C., where the six regional winning teams were gathered. While in Washington, all the teams also took a ZERO-G weightless flight and a private tour of the the Udvar-Hazy Air & Space Museum.

In addition to having their experiments performed in space, Amr, Dorothy and Sara get to choose between one of two awesome space adventures: a trip to Japan to watch their experiment blast off in a rocket bound for the ISS or, once they’re 18 years old, a week-long astronaut course in Star City, Russia, the training center for Russian cosmonauts.

Subscribe to the YouTube Space Lab channel for all the best space playlists and to check out video of the winners on their ZERO-G flight. Stay tuned for the live stream from space, which will take place later this year.

Watch a star-studded reading of the play 8 live on YouTube this Saturday night

From time to time we invite guests to the blog to talk about a topic of interest. We’re thrilled to have Rob Reiner, actor and director, join us today. -- Ed.

I want to invite you to come to YouTube on Saturday, March 3, to watch a reading of a powerful new play, 8, about marriage equality and the Proposition 8 trial.

The play, written by Academy Award winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (Milk), is an account of the case filed by the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) in the U.S. District Court in 2010 to overturn Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment that eliminated the rights of same-sex couples to marry in the state of California. Framed around the trial's historic closing arguments in June 2010, 8 provides an intimate look at what unfolded when the issue of same-sex marriage was put on trial in the U.S.

At the time of the trial, the Supreme Court ruled against allowing cameras in the courtroom, preventing anyone outside the court from witnessing the proceedings. Today, we’re able to give people around the world a look at what happened behind closed doors via the live stream of this reading of 8 on AFER’s YouTube channel.

I hope you'll join me, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Martin Sheen, Kevin Bacon, Jane Lynch, Matthew Morrison, Jamie Lee Curtis and others who will be performing in the West Coast premiere this Saturday evening at 7:45pm PT (pre-show begins at 7:30pm PT). Tune in to to watch the event live streamed from the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles, Calif.

Brazil’s Carnival goes social with Google

While you may have heard of Brazil’s Carnival (or Carnaval), not everyone will have the chance to fly to Brazil to experience what are arguably the largest annual street festivals (+ music concerts + dance parties + culture fests) in the world.

Every year, Brazilian cities compete to be the country’s top Carnival destination: This year, we’re bringing you the sights, sounds and energy of Brazilian Carnival directly from the streets of Salvador (Brazil’s first capital and one of the oldest cities in the the Americas) through Google+, YouTube and Orkut.

From February 16 to 21—the height of the festival and the peak of Brazil’s summer—you’ll be able to:
  • Watch the festivities wherever you are in the world on the Carnival YouTube Channel. Starting Thursday, February 16, you’ll have access to everything from a live transmission of the streetfest to videos of bands who have traveled to Salvador to host the party. You’ll even be able to chat with other YouTube users who are watching the party with you from around the world through a map we’ve integrated just for the occasion.
  • Chat with bands and watch live interviews on Google+. Chat with some of the Brazilian bands who have joined the festivities in real time by sending questions via Google+ and Orkut. You’ll also be able to watch celebrity interviews running live throughout the week on the AoVivo (live) Google+ Page and transmitted simultaneously on YouTube and Orkut.

Even if you didn’t have a chance to get a plane ticket to Brazil, there’s no reason not to experience the energy of this year’s 2012 Carnival. Find out more about how you can be part of the party on +AoVivo, Orkut or on our Carnival YouTube Channel.

(Cross-posted from the YouTube blog)

Going gothic with bestselling author Anne Rice

Bestselling Southern American author Anne Rice is coming to Google headquarters to discuss her latest book, The Wolf Gift, on Friday, February 24 at 10am PT. One of the most popular authors of contemporary fiction, Rice has bewitched readers with her vampire chronicles, tales of the Mayfair Witches and other metaphysical gothic fiction for more than thirty years. Submit your question online between now and Feb 23 at midnight PT, and it could be asked during the Interview with the Vampire—we mean, the interview with Anne Rice. To watch the live broadcast, tune in to the Authors@Google YouTube channel on February 24 at 10am PT. If you miss it, the recording will be posted in its entirety after the interview is over. For more information on Anne Rice and her new book, read the full post on the Google Books blog.

Where you’ll find Google and YouTube at CES 2012

Every year in the tech world, thousands of us pack a bag with all of our gadgets and head to Las Vegas for the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES). It’s a tech lover’s paradise where you can check out new technologies and talk about the trends of the future with visionary members of the industry. If you’ll be joining us, here are a few places and dates where you can find Google and YouTube.

We’ll kick things off at 3:00pm PT on Tuesday, January 10 with chairman Eric Schmidt speaking at CNET Presents - The Next Big Thing in CE, in Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) North Hall N255-257. On the following day, January 11, we have a bunch of events across topics:
  • Google’s senior policy counsel Rick Whitt will participate in the Innovation Policy Summit Session: Spectrum for Wireless Broadband: Putting the Puzzle Pieces Together in LVCC North Hall N264 at 10:15am PT.
  • On the education front, Angela Lin, manager of YouTube EDU, will present on “High Tech U”—digital tools and services that are changing the traditional ivory tower—at 3:00pm PT in LVCC North Hall N256.
  • End the day at 5:00pm PT with CNET's Women In Tech panel, featuring Marissa Mayer, VP of product management, in LVCC South Hall, Upper Level Lobby - CNET Stage.
On Thursday, January 12 at 10:00am PT, YouTube will be keynoting the Entertainment Matters program in the Las Vegas Hilton Theatre. Robert Kyncl, VP of global content, will share his thoughts on the evolution of the entertainment industry, and he’ll later be joined by partners and friends for a panel discussion.

Don’t forget to check out Google TV around CES this year. Recently announced new partners LG, Marvell, MediaTek join Samsung, Sony and Vizio having new devices to play with at their booths. You can also find YouTube demos on TVs and devices around the LVCC show floor at LG, Panasonic, Samsung, Toshiba and other booths.

For first-timers, here’s a video overview of the show from the Official CES Channel:

Stay tuned for updates on our +YouTube page and on Twitter—pack your smartphones, tablets, laptops, netbooks, televisions, E-readers and of course, your battery chargers, and see you in Las Vegas!

(Cross posted on the YouTube Blog)

What were we watching this year? Let’s rewind 2011.

One hundred years into the future, when our great-grandkids look back to what was capturing the world’s imagination on YouTube in 2011, what will they make of us? Will they still be delighted by babbling babies? Will they still be “so excited” about the weekend? And will they be any closer to understanding the mystery of the space-traveling toaster pastry cat?

Check out for a timeline of this year's most popular videos and events and to see what the world watched in 2011.

Today, we rewind through the videos and channels that absorbed our collective global attention this year. To compile these lists, we looked at global view counts of popular videos uploaded throughout this year, and, in some instances, we aggregated views across multiple versions of the same video. 2011 was a year of amazing new channels and new stars being discovered, awesome creativity, and of course, Rebecca Black. It was also a year of powerful news stories playing out on YouTube, as people witnessed and documented uprisings and natural disasters, touching personal moments and moments of protest.

In total, there were more than 1,000,000,000,000 (one trillion) playbacks on YouTube this year (yep, count ‘em, 12 zeroes). That’s about 140 views for every person on the earth. More than twice as many stars as in the Milky Way. And if I had a penny for every … OK, you get my drift, it’s a big number.

So to all of you who picked up a guitar and sang a love song, held your camera phone high above a protesting crowd, danced along to “Friday” or just forgot the webcam was on, thank you. You make YouTube what it is, and we can’t wait to hear your stories next year.

Without further ado, your most-viewed videos of 2011.

Most-viewed YouTube videos globally (excluding videos from major music labels)
  1. Rebecca Black - Friday (OFFICIAL VIDEO)
  2. Ultimate Dog Tease
  3. Jack Sparrow (feat. Michael Bolton)
  4. Talking Twin Babies - PART 2 - OFFICIAL VIDEO
  5. Nyan Cat [original]
  6. Look At Me Now - Chris Brown ft. Lil Wayne, Busta Rhymes (Cover by @KarminMusic)
  7. The Creep (feat. Nicki Minaj & John Waters)
  8. Maria Aragon - Born This Way (Cover) by Lady Gaga
  9. The Force: Volkswagen Commercial
  10. Cat mom hugs baby kitten
Most-viewed YouTube channels globally (excluding channels from major music labels)
  1. machinima
  2. IGNentertainment
  3. RayWilliamJohnson
  4. expertvillage
  5. BlueXephos
  6. smosh
  7. realannoyingorange
  8. roosterteeth
  9. thelonelyisland
  10. barelypolitical
Most-watched videos from major music labels globally (playlist)
  1. Jennifer Lopez - On The Floor ft. Pitbull
  2. LMFAO - Party Rock Anthem ft. Lauren Bennett, GoonRock
  3. Bruno Mars - The Lazy Song [Official Video]
  4. Nicki Minaj - Super Bass
  5. Pitbull - Give Me Everything ft. Ne-Yo, Afrojack, Nayer
  6. Pitbull - Rain Over Me ft. Marc Anthony
  7. Jessie J - Price Tag ft. B.o.B.
  8. LMFAO - Sexy and I Know It
  9. Katy Perry - E.T. ft. Kanye West
  10. Katy Perry - Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)
Some highlights from other categories
You can also check out the most-viewed videos of the year in fashion, beauty, sports, gaming, travel, fitness, food, science, tech reviews, family, pets and wedding proposals.

(Cross-posted from the YouTube Blog)

Get more into what you love on YouTube with our new look

From your favorite sports highlights and dance competitions to make-up tutorials, science experiments and great movies, there’s a ton of great stuff on YouTube—over 3 billion views worth per day by last count. More and more, behind every great video is a great Channel, and with our announcement last month that more of them are coming to YouTube, we want to make it easier for you to find and keep tabs of what you want to watch.

So, today we're introducing a new homepage, Channel design and a fresh coat of digital paint. Here are three ways these updates will improve your life on YouTube:

1. A new homepage
The YouTube homepage is your gateway to a vast entertainment universe. To help you get more into YouTube, we’re making it easier to find and follow great Channels when you arrive. On the left side of the homepage you can create your own, personal, customizable YouTube Channel line-up. Sign in, or create a YouTube account. Then you can browse recommended Channels; customize your homepage’s feed; even link your YouTube account to Google+ and Facebook to see what your friends are sharing. The new homepage feed we launched earlier this year is now front and center on the homepage. You can switch between feeds by clicking on different Channels on the left.

For step by step instructions on using the new YouTube homepage, you can go to our help center.

2. Simpler, customizable Channels
Given the homepage’s new focus on helping you find and organize your favorite Channels, we would be remiss if we didn’t update the look and feel of the Channels themselves. Today we're launching an improved Channel design focused on what matters most: helping users find great videos. As different uploaders have different goals, we've created new Channel templates to meet your needs whether you produce one video a week or have thousands of videos for a fan to browse. Some partners have even uploaded videos talking about the features, or giving tips on how they’re taking advantage of the new design. To learn how to opt-in to and test this new Channel design, check out our help center.

3. A new overall design
To bring the new homepage and Channels designs together we’ve also applied a fresh coat of digital paint across the whole site. 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 gray background, bigger video thumbnails and a more streamlined watch page.

Ready to get started? Your new YouTube is already shipped and waiting for you at, and like every new toy, we included an instruction manual (and video) to help.

Our recent Channels expansion, our grants and educational programs, and this new design are all focused on helping you discover a broader range of entertainment on YouTube. We’re always innovating and testing new stuff out to make the experience the best it can be for you. We rely on your feedback to figure out when we've gotten it right and when it needs further tweaks. So let us know what you think.

The Orabrush story: How a Utah man used YouTube to build a multi-million dollar business

From time to time, we post about how entrepreneurs have used Google tools to build successful businesses—both on and offline. In this post, you’ll read the story of how a Utah entrepreneur used YouTube to build a market for his tongue cleaner product, the Orabrush. Starting this month, CVS/pharmacy will begin carrying the product in stores across the United States. - Ed.

When Dr. Bob Wagstaff invented the Orabrush tongue cleaner, he tried all the traditional business strategies to sell his product. He invested $40,000 into a TV infomercial, approached retail shops to carry the Orabrush in stores and offered to sell his patent to other oral hygiene companies. None of it worked. The infomercial yielded only 100 orders, and people walked past the product in stores without a second glance.

As a final attempt to get his business off the ground, Dr. Wagstaff took the advice of Jeffrey Harmon, a local college student, and started marketing the tongue cleaners on YouTube. With a $500 budget, they produced and posted their first video introducing the Orabrush and offering the product for purchase online.

The quirky, commercial-style video explained that 90 percent of bad breath comes from bacteria on the tongue—hence the solution, the Orabrush tongue cleaner. Shot in a makeshift studio in the neighborhood pool hall (listen closely and you can hear the balls cracking in the background), the video went viral, rocketing to 16 million views.

Building a brand on YouTube
After the explosive reaction to their first video, Harmon took on the role as Chief Marketing Officer and began creating regular webisodes, introducing new characters like Morgan, the dirty tongue. Harmon then used YouTube video ads to reach more people and grow their fan base. The “Cure Bad Breath” videos built a loyal following, and their YouTube channel grew to nearly 40 million views.

After two years, Orabrush had sold more than a million tongue cleaners to people in 40+ countries. The Orabrush brand became so popular that local pharmacy store managers began contacting Orabrush directly, citing requests from customers who had heard about the brand online. This fall, Walmart began carrying the Orabrush tongue cleaners in its 3,500+ stores across the United States. And this week, CVS/pharmacy has added the Orabrush tongue cleaner to more than 7,000 stores across the country. That’s a lot of tongue cleaners!

These days Orabrush is taking a new approach to drive even more sales in stores. One of the first businesses to use YouTube TrueView video ads, Orabrush has created tailored endings to their videos that direct the viewer to the closest CVS/pharmacy carrying the Orabrush.

Elbow grease and a clever mascot
While Orabrush may have taken an unorthodox approach, their success came from old-fashioned elbow grease, perseverance and a bit of ingenuity.

“YouTube has helped normal people like Dr. Bob and a couple of college kids to take an idea, put it in front of people and get an honest response,” Harmon, now chief marketing officer at Orabrush, told us. “We can now play on the same terms as huge companies—and be successful.”

Hear more about Orabrush’s journey to success in this video:

Martha Stewart visits Google

Martha Stewart is a phenomenon. Each month, more than 37 million readers, users, viewers and listeners tune in to Martha in order to learn how to cook, entertain, garden, decorate, craft and organize to celebrate everything from holidays, to weddings to everyday living. Martha hosted me most graciously in her studio last December, so my team and I were delighted to welcome Martha to Google last Friday as part of our Authors@Google series.

Martha may be our most prolific Author@Google visitor yet. On November 1, Martha's Entertaining: A Year of Celebrations was published as her 75th(!) book. During her visit, Martha and I sat down to talk about her new book as well as how technology has affected her brand and business (she was an early adopter of Google+), the early days of her media empire, her advice for entrepreneurs and her most memorable Thanksgivings. We also chatted a bit about the upcoming holidays. Insightful, refreshing, candid and charming, it was a delight to speak with Martha and hear her story.

The full interview is below—complete with tips on how to fold fitted sheets!—and can also be found on our YouTube page.

(Cross-posted on the YouTube blog)

Watch the Hajj in Saudi Arabia—the world’s largest pilgrimage—live on YouTube

Nearly 2.5 million Muslims will officially begin the annual Islamic ritual of the Hajj on November 5, in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The Hajj represents one of the five pillars of Islam; it requires all Muslims around the world who are able-bodied and can afford it to perform the pilgrimage once in their lifetime.

The Hajj is an ancient ritual, but now, through the Saudi Ministry of Culture and Information's YouTube channel, millions of people from around the world will be able to experience and comment on the event by tuning in via video.

Earlier this year, we worked with the Saudi Ministry of Culture and Information to broadcast Islamic prayers live during Ramadan from the Holy Mosque in Mecca for the first time. In continued cooperation with the Ministry, we’re now able to live stream the Hajj on YouTube for the first time.

The stream will be live on Saturday, November 5 at

(Cross-posted on the YouTube blog)

Shipping the Google in Google+

A few weeks ago Larry mentioned that we’d start shipping the Google part of Google+. The Android team then launched Ice Cream Sandwich, with a focus on improved sharing via Google+. And today we're rolling out two more Google+ features that integrate with two more Google products: YouTube and Chrome.

It's no secret that YouTube is filled with tons of great content (from inspiring speeches to music videos to honey badgers). We wanted to bring YouTube directly into Google+—as well as make it easier to watch and share your favorites—so we're launching a YouTube "slider" in the stream. Here’s how it works:
  • Mouse over the new YouTube icon at the top right of Google+
  • It'll slide out and ask, "What would you like to play"?
  • Enter whatever you're in the mood for (like a topic or a musical artist)
We'll start playing a list of related videos in a new pop-up window, and if you move the pop-up elsewhere, you can still navigate your playlist from the slider:

From left to right: YouTube slider (closed), slider (open), pop-up playlist, slider (while playing)

Sharing YouTube videos with your circles also works (of course), but there's a nice little twist: the people you share with can open a related playlist directly from your post! Last but not least, we’re starting to include YouTube playlists in Google+ search results.

YouTube video in the stream (left), YouTube playlist in Google+ search results (right)

We're also rolling out two new Google+ Chrome extensions:
  • +1 button: +1 any webpage and share it with your circles
  • Notifications: check your Google+ notifications while you browse the web
Of course, if you don't use Chrome, then you can use Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer. The new version—also rolling out today—includes these same sharing and notification features.

Google+ Chrome extensions: +1 button (left), notifications (right)

We've got lots more planned for Google+, YouTube and Chrome (and all the other Google products you already use). But we hope you enjoy today's small taste of shipping the Google in Google+.