New Vimeo hands-on

Fans of the video sharing site that's not YouTube, attention please – here's what the New Vimeo looks like

If you've used the video sharing site Vimeo before you'll know that compared to the inifinite sprawl of content that is YouTube, Vimeo is considerably smaller – but makes up for it with character and plenty of user generated video content.

New Vimeo – site redesign

Vimeo CEO Dae Mellencamp gave us a sneak peek at the new site before it goes into closed beta and we played around with some of the new features and design tweaks.

First up, Vimeo has pushed the menu and video discovery tools (Me, Videos, Explore, Tools, Help and Upload) into the background with the new muted colour scheme so that your eyes don't get distracted from the video content.

Vimeo search now includes optional fields like SD/HD and video length if you choose the advanced view. There's no change to ads – they stay at one ad per page for basic users with no pesky pre-rolls.

New Vimeo – homepage and profile pages

Vimeo has decluttered your homepage's Inbox so that you can easily see which of your Vimeo contacts has liked which video suggestions – plus the video blog style layout lets you play the vids straight from the thumbnails.

The profile page has been given a Facebook style makeover with a bigger main image and range of thumbnail views. You also get handy red banners across any videos you've marked private so you don't need to click through to double check what you've unleashed on the Vimeo world.

New Vimeo – Vimeo player

Once you click through to the player screen, the new site gives you a larger picture with no clutter down the sides – plus comments only load when you scroll down, meaning you'll get to watch your video quicker.

And we're also a fan of the new videos tab which elegantly pulls down to reveal large thumbnails running across the top of your screen – including related videos and more videos created by that user.

New Vimeo – uploading videos

Here's where Vimeo is really going to make some new fans. The new Upload page not only lets you upload multiple videos at once but shows you progress bars for each video and uses the vid's metadata to flag up any bitrate or compression problems before you've waited for twenty minutes. Helpful.

New Vimeo – when can I get it?

Mellencamp reckons that the closed beta will only last a few weeks while the team irons out any small problems, with a bigger open test lasting for another month or so. That means the official roll-out should be with everyone else before the end of Q2 – in other words, this summer.

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