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For most, YouTube — especially on mobile — is primarily for content consumption. The app can also be used to upload video or go live, and Google is now better emphasizing that with a giant “create” button in YouTube for Android and later iOS.

Update 11/12: The create ‘plus’ is now widely available around the world. It follows YouTube making a number of changes to the video player and then introducing line-style icons throughout the application. Given that YouTube Shorts is still in testing, tapping the button just loads two options: “Upload a video” and “Go live.”

Original 9/2: A video camera icon in the top-right corner — between Cast and search — today brings up a screen to record, go live, or select video clips already on your camera roll.

YouTube’s create button is now heading to the very center of the bottom bar. Featuring a plus sign in a circle, there is no label. It looks slightly odd as the icon style differs, and it’s much taller than its neighbors. To make way for this change, Google is moving the “Notifications” feed to the app bar, while “Subscriptions” moves right.

The YouTube team made this change to make it “easier for you to create videos on mobile.” Functionality remains “remains exactly the same.”

It’s widely rolled out in India with version 15.30 of YouTube for Android. It’s coming to “iOS and all locations globally in the future.”

Given where it’s first available and the very prominent placement, the new create button could be part of Google’s preparation for its YouTube-based TikTok competitor. Referred to as “Shorts,” they were last rumored to be gearing up for an Indian launch given the current absence of that service in the country.

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Abner Li

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