YouTube has surreptitiously unveiled a striking new logo that does away with the plump, simplistic lettering that it's used for years now. In its place, the new logo features a two-tone red and white design that largely focuses on a flattened play icon, with thin lettering below it for the website's name. The logo first appeared in the redesign of YouTube's Android and iOS apps last week, and it's since shown up on its Facebook page and Twitter profile — though notably, not on YouTube's own website. We've reached out to confirm whether this is a true redesign in the works or just an alternate logo.
An older version of the YouTube logo.
The logo for YouTube hasn't changed much over the years — it's long used a wordmark partially encapsulated in a big red bubble. The bubble has lost some of its gloss, but it's largely remained the same despite being fairly indistinct outside of its split-apart look. The apparent rebranding effort may allow YouTube to be associated solely with a big red-and-white play icon, which could be seen as a stronger way to represent itself than solely its name. The icon also falls more in line with design styles of late: aside from echoing the flattened looks present in iOS 7 and Windows Phone, it notably falls in line with other Google services' Android icons, particularly Chrome and Drive, both of which are simple and feature subtle shadowing, as YouTube's new logo does within its arrow.
Update: YouTube tells us that its current logo "is not going away," and that these changes are part of an increased use of the play button to represent itself. While it takes a different form, YouTube has actually been using something similar as its Chrome app icon for a while now. The company's full statement is below.
Our main logo is a core part of YouTube and is not going away. We are increasingly using our play button for apps and icons.