YouTube has become notorious for changing its app and website as well as testing new features without involving or even communicating with its community ahead of time. Creators have complained about this disconnect for years, but on Friday, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki shared a list of five priorities for the remainder of 2018, many of which focus on communication. This week, the site began making good on that promise.
On Monday, Creator Insider (“an unofficial channel started by YouTube employees”) revealed a new Explore tab that is currently being tested on approximately 1% of iPhone YouTube app users. Chances are that you won’t see the new tab when you load up your YouTube app, but if it’s successful, it could eventually roll out to everyone.
In a new video, Tom of the Creator Insider channel explains how the Explore tab works. Basically, instead of offering up a list of videos catered specifically to your viewing habits, Explore will help you “broaden your horizons” by letting you choose between a variety of topics and channels. YouTube still takes your habits into account when populating the tab, but you should see significantly more diversity in Explore than you would otherwise.
Although the Explore tab replaces Trending on the menu bar at the bottom of the app, the Trending section still exists within the app. So in theory, Explore will expose YouTube users to more types of content and more creators without taking anything away or making it more difficult for them to find content they’re used to seeing.