YouTube mobile now available for everyone

The service offers a hand-picked selection of videos users can watch on their mobile devices. There is, however, no community aspect--no user comments--the kind of thing that makes YouTube so interesting.

YouTube's mobile site has been live and available as of a few days ago. The service offers a hand-picked selection of videos users can watch on their mobile devices. Users have access to just the bare essentials, such as running time, rating, and a link to a video's page with more details. There is, however, no community aspect--no user comments, ratings, or video responses--the kind of things that make YouTube so interesting. Also missing is a dedicated video uploader, as mobile users are still required to submit their mobile videos via MMS messaging.

Instead of running in Flash, like regular YouTube videos, the clips have been downscaled and converted to the 3GP format for streaming. Despite this, I've had a heck of a time trying to get them to run on two of our test phones. It seems that instead of playing right in your browser, the service will simply piggy back on to your phone's built-in media player.

YouTube mobile was previously relegated to Verizon V Cast subscribers in the United States under the guise of an exclusivity deal between the two companies. Considering there are no ads in the mobile version (yet), any kind of money being made is likely on the carrier side from cellular subscribers who are paying for premium data plans.

You can give it a spin in your browser at m.Youtube.com, although the videos won't play.

Anyone can now access the mobile version of YouTube, although you might stumble into a few problems along the way. CNET Networks
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