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YouTube to test new “Explore” tab for iOS


YouTube is about to launch a small scale experiment to test a new “Explore” tab for its iOS app. YouTube says the tab “will help you discover more videos, topics and channels that you might not otherwise see”. The video streaming platform uploaded a post yesterday informing that it will only test the feature with a small group of its iOS users (1% of total iOS users, per Variety) over the next few weeks. The post doesn’t state if the feature will be expanded to Android in future.

The “Explore” will replace the existing “Trending” tab and will feature both recommendations and trending videos. The recommendations will be personalized on the basis of user activity but will also have videos that a user might not watch otherwise. The explore section will also feature content from new channels along with already popular ones. According to the platform this will give better exposure to new artists. YouTube doesn’t state the basis on which these videos will be curated.

Why rehash the Trending tab?

YouTube rehash of its Trending tab appears to be an attempt to compete with Instagram’s latest makeover to its explore tab that lets you view content from people you don’t necessarily follow but have similar interests with. Instagram started with 13 ‘categories’ including art, science & tech, food, humour, among others. It also has a ‘For You’ that features content that you are most likely to enjoy. Twitter also began sorting tweets according to topics in August last year.

YouTube’s experiments this year didn’t run well; its subscription feeds test from earlier this year didn’t go down well with the creators community. YouTube gave users an option to sort their feeds in a non-chronological way so that they can customize their home pages to display videos of their own choice, instead of the latest uploaded videos. YouTube faced flack as soon as the platform tweeted about it and several YouTubers spoke up against it.  

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