Vimeo has revealed its redesigned website and is offering selected members a chance to preview the changes before an open beta is launched in a few weeks.
The changes are largely based on user feedback and it is the site's first refresh since 2007. It isn't a mere upgrade - as Vimeo's Vice President of Design and User Experience Sockyung Hong explains on the company's blog: "We tore Vimeo down, thought hard about every aspect of it, and created the new Vimeo from scratch."
One of the first things you'll notice about the redesigned site, seen exclusively by Macworld, is that it now has a full-width video player that is twice as big as that on the current site. Vimeo has made a conscious decision to make video the main focus of the site.
"We started by reimagining the video page, and designed the entire user experience around it to minimize distractions and put the focus where it belongs — on your videos," said Hong.
The Vimeo Inbox - now simply known as your Feed - has been redesigned too, letting you play videos from within the page, rather than you having to go to a new page to watch. The navigation system has been completely overhauled, with Vimeo putting the emphasis on helping you to discover new things that you like as well as get around the site a bit easier.
The uploading experience has also been changed. For a start, you can now upload multiple videos, whereas previously you had to do one at a time. Also, should there be a problem when you upload, such as a break in the connection, you'll find out about it much sooner than you would have on the current site.
The advanced search feature has been improved, as have your privacy options, and should you want to find videos that you can rework or remix, there is a new section to help you discover videos available with Creative Commons licenses.
Vimeo had 65 million unique users for the month of December 2011 and though it doesn't serve up the same number of views as YouTube it is aimed at a different audience, valuing creativity and constructive comments and community over everything else.
A limited number of Vimeo members will be able to try out the new site now - you can sign up here - though the company promises that the new site will be available to all members as an open beta in a few weeks.