In an effort to help mobile users find new content to watch: YouTube is about to launch the test of a new “Explore” tab for its iOS app, which YouTube says will show videos, topics and channels users probably wouldn’t ordinarily see.
Google-owned popular video streaming platform YouTube on Monday announced that it will start testing a new Explore tab on iPhone that will allow users on the platform to discover related content from channels that they have not yet subscribed to. Explore is different from the Recommendations tab in a way that it is expected to broaden topics instead of showing just videos similar to the ones in browsing history and in the subscription list. According to a Twitter post by the company.
The feature is currently being tested on just about 1 percent of the iPhone users with the YouTube app installed, the company announced in a video on its Creators Insider channel. In making the “Explore” tab announcement, YouTube notes it’s always experimenting with ways to make it easier for users to find, watch, and share videos that matter most to them. With the new tab, YouTube is adding an outlet where creators of all sizes can have their content discovered.
This is an experimental feature, so only a small group of people using the YouTube app on iPhones will see the Explore tab in the bottom navigation. If you’re part of the test group, you’ll see that all content from Trending now exists in a section of Explore (so Trending isn’t going away!).
Tom Leung, a Director of Product Management, YouTube said:
“Explore is designed to help you to be exposed to different kinds of topics, videos, or channels that you might not otherwise encounter. But they are still personalised, they are still based on your viewing activity,”
“We hope it’s going to be a win-win, but we are not sure yet, that’s why the experiment is going to be run. But in the meantime, feel free to give us feedback… Let us know what you think and we’re happy to give an update as well when the experiment has run its course,” stated Leung. The experiment was also announced on the YouTube Help Forum, with instructions on how to send feedback.
This is one of those features that probably should have been in place for years now, but maybe it’s a better late than never situation. Of course, it will come down to how well it works. Is YouTube just going to show random videos that aren’t actually relevant to what an individual’s preferences are? Expanding your horizons can be a good thing, so maybe the new Explore tab will be a worthwhile venture.