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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