YouTube has changed their logo, from the infamous YouTube with a red box over the tube, to a red and white play button. There are a huge variety of possibilities as to why YouTube has changed their logo; however they have still kept their original logo in their banner.
The thumbnail icon has been changed to the play button, this makes You Tube more simplistic and actually reflects on the website much better than previously as the play button represents media being played.
So the YouTube icon has been changed and added to their new web design, although it is not enforced heavily on the user, it is there. For many users, the icon is fairly obvious and if anything intrigues the visitor as to why the icon has changed. Although it may not receive a positive response, any publicity is good publicity right? In this case it is. Very similar to when Facebook change their layout, YouTube will not suffer with loss of visitors and this is mainly because there are no video sharing networks nearly as good as YouTube which is why it is such a widely used website.
With the change of the YouTube icon could be hinting at a complete logo change. This could potentially be phase one of a rebranding project to help YouTube become more of a Google product as opposed to a video sharing network which is run by Google.
There are a lot of possibilities which could have caused YouTube to change their icon, there are also a lot of different opportunities for the future which have been created by this icon change. It must be said that the icon itself is good, as far as icons go. However I think it is the change that YouTubers will dislike, again very similar to Facebook, when there is change, there will be a lot of complaints about it. YouTube will not suffer a loss of visitors from this, if anything, this is the start of a new YouTube.