YouTube launches Leanback in beta

Google-owned video sharing site YouTube has launched its new Leanback service in beta.

YouTube Leanback allows users to access videos using the keys available on a TV remote control – equivalent to the arrow keys and return on a keyboard – rather than a full computer keyboard. Users can also view personalised video feeds in full-screen mode, and YouTube is also providing a pay option and the ability to connect the site with Facebook accounts.

Google has characterised YouTube Leanback as a version of the site that allows users to view content passively. The service is currently only available online, but observers believe that Leanback is a dry run for the forthcoming Google TV service.