YouTube Starts Rolling Out New Website Design, Dark Mode

YouTube has started to invite its users to preview a new design of its website, which includes a dark mode suitable for nighttime viewing. The design is also more closely aligned to the look and feel of YouTube’s mobile apps, with YouTube product manager Brian Marquardt promising more consistency across platforms in an announcement blog post.

“Starting today, we’re opening up a preview of the new design to a small group of people from all around the world so we can get feedback,” Marquardt wrote Tuesday. “While we hope you’ll love what we’ve been working on, we’re also really excited to involve the YouTube community so we can make the site even better before sharing it more broadly.”

Users interested in the preview could briefly sign up for it on a special web page Tuesday, but YouTube quickly closed the sign-up after reaching an undisclosed threshold. The Google-owned video site promised to invite additional users in the coming weeks, and plans to eventually make the new look available to all users.

In addition to a night mode, which replaces the white website background with a black theme that’s less jarring when used in low-light situations, the new YouTube also uses a somewhat cleaner design. Two separate menus are being merged into one, and individual menu items are spaced more generously, giving the whole site a lighter look and feel.

But one of the biggest changes may be under the hood: YouTube now uses Polymer, a new scripting technology that’s meant to simplify web development. The result could be that YouTube might be able to change up its site more easily in the future.