YouTube Is Finally Giving Viewers More Control Over Their Feed

Posted on June 26, 2019 by Mehedi Hassan in YouTube with 7 Comments

YouTube is announcing some major changes to its platform today that will give users more control over what content they see on the platform. So far, YouTube has been using algorithms to recommend videos to users, and that hasn’t really worked well all the times. And so, YouTube is giving users some control over their own feed, instead of completely relying on its algorithms.

The company will soon roll out a new feature for Android and iOS that will let users view recommended videos from a particular topic on their homepage and Up Next section within YouTube. These topics will be suggested based on what you already watch on YouTube, and you can simply switch between them to get videos surrounding certain topics. It seems really useful, and you’d expect a site to like YouTube to offer it from the beginning. But better late than never, I guess. The feature is only coming to phones for now, but it will be available on the desktop in the future.

Elsewhere, YouTube now lets you completely block out a channel from your recommendations. The company admitted that sometimes the suggestions generated by its algorithms aren’t always accurate, and so you can now ask YouTube to stop recommending videos from a certain channel on your homepage and Up Next section. This feature is coming to YouTube’s Android and iOS apps today, and it will also be available on the desktop “soon”.

And lastly, YouTube will now tell you why it suggests some of the videos in your feeds underneath the video in a small box. It’s a neat little addition that could explain why a certain video has popped up on your feed, and it’s coming to iOS today, with Android and desktop support expected to arrive “soon”.

YouTube’s algorithm-powered recommendations have always been at the center of a lot of controversies in recent times. Giving users control over their own feed will definitely be a welcome change, but YouTube will still have to do a lot of work on its side to get the trust of its own community back.

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Comments (7)

7 responses to “YouTube Is Finally Giving Viewers More Control Over Their Feed”

  1. proesterchen

    "so you can now ask YouTube to stop recommending videos from a certain channel on your homepage and Up Next section."

    Finally! This has been overdue for years, and it really boggles the mind that Youtube never offered this given how this additional signal could easily help improve their algorithm.

  2. overseer

    Now if they would actually let me see all the videos from channels I subscribe to....

  3. BMcDonald

    Or show me recommendations from ONLY the channels I subscribe to.

  4. ianhead is the true feed. Though there's a lot of murmuring that even that doesn't just show you videos from your subscriptions like it should anymore.

  5. Thom77

    Youtube is in competition for advertising dollars with the major networks.

    The major networks are courting advertisors now by telling them how advertisor friendly they are compared to Youtube. They say, "Look at all the crap on Youtube where your advertisment might show up on. Here, on ABC, you know EXACTLY where your advertising is going, what content your adverting is attached to. Screw Youtube, spend your dollars here"

    The major networks see Youtube as a serious threat.

    Youtube's suggested stuff was never perfect, but before the political upheaval 3 years ago, you could watch a video on a subject matter, and your suggested feeds were RELEVANT to what you are watching.

    If you watched a video called "100% PROOF Reptilian Illumati Shape Shifters Are Running The World", your suggested feed would be full of similar wacky, conspiratorrial videos. If you watched a video "These Billion Dollar Corporations Dont Pay Taxes", your feed would show similar stuff.

    But here comes the problem.

    THOSE VIDEOS ARE NOT ADVERTISER FRIENDLY ... so Youtube can't make money off of them. If you sit all day, and watch one video after another after another, going off of your suggested list, and all those videos are not monetized because advertisers dont want to be associated with the content ... then not only is Youtube missing out on you watching advertiser videos beforehand, but YOU WILL NEVER STROLL INTO ADVERTISER FRIENDLY CONTENT.

    So, they made a decision and F'd up the suggested lists to STEER you to advertisor content. So when you watch a Ron Paul video, your suggested list isnt full of "The Federal Reserve Is Not Federal" videos or "How the Fed Creates Money Out of Thin Air." which advertisors (corporations) dont want to be associated with. Instead, you have Jimmy Falon videos and blue check marked Youtube advertisor friendly videos.

    The author here acts like all of this is just an algorithm issue, some "glitch" in the system. NO. THIS WAS DESIGNED TO BE CRAPPY ... to steer you towards advertiser friendly content. It was designed NOT to show you similar suggestions especially if what you are watching is not monetized. The author even claims they should of offered it from the beginning .... um ... THEY DID .

    and i guarantee you whatever changes they make ... will STILL steer you to advertiser friendly monetized videos.

    The CEO even admitted recently why Youtube only demonetizes certain controversial videos but doesn't ban them even though people (AKA outrage police) think it should. Youtube keeps the video up since its getting a lot of views so that their suggestion list to monetize videos can be accessed.

    The reason there is a huge banning spree on Youtube, mostly Conservatives, but a lot of Leftist video are also being taken down which Jimmy Dore has documented, is because Youtube is feeling the heat of losing ADVERISING DOLLARS to the networks because advertisers are becoming scared of their content getting put on a video that is controversial. Pure and simple.

    This article is horribly uninformed, but unfortunately, becoming the norm here.

  6. Rob_Wade

    I find this laughable. Sure, give users more "control" over their homepage after you've effectively cut out everything you don't want them to see anyway. Yep, that's giving users "control". YouTube is SUCH a fraud.