Happy new year! Our holiday "less-atorium" is long over -- we put a freeze on all but essential site pushes during Christmas and New Year -- and we're back in the business of enhancing the site and launching new features. There's lots in store for 2010, including these things which went live this week:

More subscription news: Last week, we made multiple subscription-related announcements and we have another to add to the list: now, shortly after you subscribe to someone, their older videos will start showing up in your subscriptions feed. (Previously, you had to wait until they started uploading videos after you subscribed to them.) Conversely, when you unsubscribe from a channel, the person's videos will promptly disappear from your subscription feed, making more room for the clips you actually want to watch.

Product Ideas for YouTube: A YouTube mantra is "launch and iterate." What this means is that we push out new features, see how the marketplace (you!) responds to them, and then make adjustments as necessary. None of this would be possible without your feedback, which we gather from how you use the site as well as from what you say in places like this blog, the forums, and Twitter. In order to help streamline the feedback-gathering process a bit (if that's possible!), we just launched a "Product Ideas" page where you can share your thoughts about how to make the site better and vote on ideas others have had. Right now, we're especially interested in learning what you think should be removed from the site in our fit of pre-spring cleaning. Click here to participate.

youtu.be links for one-off sharing: We announced youtu.be links before the holidays, and people who've connected their YouTube account to their Twitter, Facebook or other social media profiles via Autoshare have already been disseminating these shortened links around the Web. What is new is that now, any video distributed using the "Share to Twitter" link on the playback page will contain this shortened link. Here's what it looks like when syndicated to Twitter:




YouTube Partner Program opens to users in the Netherlands and Italy: Our partnership program, which recently celebrated its second birthday, just launched in the Netherlands and Italy, so if you are a talented videomaker living in those countries, we encourage you to apply to become a partner and turn your hobby into a full-fledged career. Click here for more info.

The YouTube Team