YouTube Homepage Feed Updates 'Bigger Video Thumbnails' and More; 16 YouTube Next Comics; Final 10 Films for Your Film Festival; The I Files Home for Investigative Journalism on YouTube

YouTube rolling out updates and some new features and channels today including updates to homepage feed to provide better viewing experience. Here's what you'll notice:The first thing you will notice, in the restructured design is it now show "bigger, higher-quality thumbnails with more information included related to the video." "If an uploader has commented, posted, […]

YouTube Homepage Feed: Bigger video thumbnails with more information about uploader activity

YouTube rolling out updates and some new features and channels today including updates to homepage feed to provide better viewing experience. Here's what you'll notice:

The first thing you will notice, in the restructured design is it now show "bigger, higher-quality thumbnails with more information included related to the video." "If an uploader has commented, posted, or added a video to a playlist, we surface this information so you can get a better picture of all the activity related to the video," YouTube stated.

YouTube also today introduce a new menu that lets you quickly control what content appears in your feed. To bring up this menu, simply hover over an item in the feed and click the arrow that appears in the upper right of the item. "You can then choose to hide the item you have selected, opt to only show uploads from that user, or unsubscribe from that user, all directly in your feed," posted Kurt Wilms, Product Manager at YouTube.

YouTube Homepage Feed: More control over what you see in your feed

The "Highlights view," which is currently the default view of activity on the homepage feed, is designed to ensure that a diverse set of creators appear in a viewer's feed based on their subscriptions. "Some creators publish videos once per week, while others publish many videos every day. Highlights views helps ensure that prolific creators don't crowd out more occasional publishers in your homepage feed," explains Wilms.

"If you want to see each and every item from all channels, you can always select the Everything view," Wilms adds.

YouTube Homepage Feed: Highlights view

Also, Videos that you've already watched are now "clearly marked in the feed," so you can better decide what to watch next.

YouTube Homepage Feed: differentiated view of videos you've already watched

Also, introduced today are Sixteen new LOL YouTube Next Comics. "The response was overwhelming and had us ROFL-ing, making the task of selecting the lucky 16 surprisingly difficult," YouTube team said.

Adding, "Those selected will participate in three months of educational workshops, including mentoring from comedic pros like CollegeHumor and Glozell, and will also receive $5,000 worth of video equipment and $10,000 worth of promotion for their channel," said the team announcing the launch.

Some of the biggest news stories of recent times have played out on YouTube--this growing volume of news-related video has contributed to the now 72 hours of content uploaded to YouTube every minute.

Today, the investigative reporting now has a new home on YouTube--"The I Files."

"Curated by the Center for Investigative Reporting with funding from the Knight Foundation, The I Files will be a hub and community for investigative journalism on the web, showcasing reporting that digs deep into stories, gives background to complex issues, and reveals details that help us make better sense of our world," wrote David Gehring, News Content Partnerships Manager.

You can find more information at the youtube.com/ifiles channel.

Finally, YouTube announced the final 10 films selected for "Your Film Festival," Venice.

"Over 15,000 filmmakers entered Your Film Festival but only ten finalists remain, each with the hope of winning $500,000 to produce new content with actor Michael Fassbender, director Ridley Scott and his world class team," the YouTube team posted.

The 10 finalists short listed to be screened at the historic Venice Film Festival include:

88:88, Joey Ciccoline & Sean Wilson (USA)
Bat Eyes, Damien Power (Australia)
Cine Rincao, Fernando Grostein Andrade & Fernanda Fernandes (Brazil)
The Drought, Kevin Slack (USA)
El General, Diego Pino Zamora (Bolivia)
The Guilt, David Victori Blaya (Spain)
North Atlantic, Bernardo Nascimento (United Kingdom)
Super.Full., Niam Itani (Lebanon)
Scruples, Adrian Powers (Australia)
This Time, Ramy EL-Gabry (Egypt)

Ridley Scott's production team, along with the jury including Michael Fassbender, will name the grand prize winner at a special ceremony on September 2, 2012, in Venice.