YouTube Gives Twitter Love

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Google sprinkled a few extra features on YouTube last night, in a spring cleaning effort to catch up with the ever-popular Twitter. Viewers can now post a video they like on Twitter and users got a few tweaks when managing their content.

Everybody is integrating Twitter functionality these days, as the microblogging platform gains more user traction. The most prominent example is Facebook, which redesigned its whole news feed to accommodate the need for real-time updates. And now it's YouTube's turn, but with not so much glory.

The share links on YouTube now offer a Twitter posting option along Facebook and MySpace. Users can expand the box for more sharing options, but those three xare the ones YouTube promotes.

When you click on the Twitter button, a pop-up window will open your Twitter account and fill in automatically with text asking your followers to "check this video out" followed by the video's title and URL. Unfortunately, the video link is not shortened (using services like TinityURL or Bit.ly) but YouTube said it plans to add that "down the road."

Other improvements made their way onto YouTube as well. A new Flash uploader is in service, together with a long-expected upload progress bar. The site also promises an estimated video processing time after the upload in the near future. An official HD USL parameter has been added also, for sharing HD video links.

And when YouTube says "spring cleaning," it really means it: the video-watching pages are also tidied up, with smaller action links and no more tabs for comments, statistics and data (they are now collapsible using a little arrow). It is now easier to log in with Google Account credentials (if you Google and YouTube accounts are associated) with an all-in-one sign-in page.

YouTube also makes an attempt to take on Apple's iTunesU, with the YouTube EDU project, which collects and highlights educational content uploaded by colleges and universities on the site.

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