YouTube’s New Interface: Appetite for Destruction?

For those of you who may have noticed the new embedded player that YouTube has been gradually rolling out over the last two weeks — have you noticed anything missing? Something so vital, so essential to what YouTube is, that you’ve searched around their new interface looking for it?

I’m talking about the “Share” button. The one feature that made YouTube a star. The one, absolutely indispensable, must-have interface affordance.

And now, as near as I can tell, it seems to be gone. Sure, you can embed, and you can get the URL and copy it to the clipboard, but none of that – none of it – has any of the power of just tapping on the “Share” button, selecting a few friends, and forwarding the video along.

It’s as if – I can only imagine – they have purposely set out to destroy their business. The entire reason that YouTube exists is because they made it so incredibly easy to find, filter and forward videos along from friend to friend. Anything, however small – and this isn’t small, it’s huge – that gets in the way of sharing will slow YouTube’s growth. Perhaps even ruin it.

This can’t be happening. They can’t have missed this. It’s too important, too significant, too central to what YouTube is.

And yet, it’s gone. No more sharing.