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YouTube’s app just got a big change that you might have missed

Published Mar 15th, 2020 9:42AM EDT
YouTube Mobile App
Image: Valentin Wolf/imageBROKER/Shutterstock

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  • Google made a huge change to the YouTube app’s user interface meant to address criticism from some independent content creators.
  • The Trending section is now called Explore and features a Trending menu of its own. If you haven’t been using it before, chances are you won’t even notice the menu alteration.
  • The move is meant to make content discovery easier and help creators get noticed easier than before.
  • Visit BGR’s homepage for more stories.

Google this week made a huge change to the user interface of its mobile app for Android and iPhone, but the move won’t really affect your experience. Some people might not even notice that the Trending tab on the bottom — that’s the second menu button from the left — morphed into a tab that’s called Explore. If you did spot the change on Thursday when Google started rolling it out, you’ve probably figured out that you can still find trending videos, if that’s what you’re using the mobile YouTube app for every day.

The new Explore tab has been in the works for more than a year, and some YouTube users may have spotted the change a long time ago. The purpose of the transition to Explore is to make content discovery easier for users. The Explore tab will now include several menus at the top, as you’ll see in the animation below, including the Trending tab that was just removed from the main menu, as well as destination pages to popular categories like Gaming, Music, Fashion & Beauty, Movies & Shows, Learning, and more.

The section will also include videos from rising YouTubers, featuring videos labeled Creator on the Rise and Artist on the Rise, before other trending videos.

Image source: Google

As for the Trending section that’s now part of Explore, it’ll show the same trending videos to all users in a country or region. The tab will get you quick access to popular content from your area and the world.

Why did Google have to change the name of the Trending tab? There was some controversy last year about the Trending section, as some creators felt that Google’s algorithms would favor big content producers, including TV networks, rather than regular YouTube content creators who didn’t have similar resources at their disposal.

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki acknowledged the issue and promised a fix going forward. The Explore tab is the fix that might keep some creators happy. Time will tell if Google’s Explore tab works better than Trending. Like I said before, the change isn’t meant to disrupt your use of YouTube. If anything, you’re an extra tap away from the Trending section. But if you’ve ignored Trending up to this point, chances are that Explore will be just as invisible to you.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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