YouTube started out as a simple website to upload, view, and share videos. Over time, it grew into the beast that it is today with many people (including Google themselves) looking at it as a social network onto itself. That’s massive when you consider over 300 hours of video content is uploaded each and every minute. As it becomes more of a platform, having the ability to control the content you are shown (and suggested) becomes increasingly more important. Some highly requested features have just been added to the YouTube Android application with the main focus being on giving the user more control.
The folks behind YouTube’s algorithm work hard in an attempt to figure out what they believe interests you. If it works correctly you browse from video to video in a pleasant viewing experience. In a way, if the algorithm works as it should, it will be virtually invisible from the user. It’s when these suggested videos are wrong that the user experience is ruined. The viewer doesn’t get why a video is being suggested and can result in them leaving the website or closing the app.
Google wants to give the user more control over what they see on the home screen (and the Up Next suggestions) of the YouTube application. This has been a very popular feature request and you will now be able to tell YouTube to not suggest videos from a suggested channel anymore. If you are suggested a video to watch and aren’t sure why it was suggested, then you’ll be happy to hear that another new feature tells you exactly why the YouTube algorithm suggested it to you. A good example of this is when a lot of people (who subscribe to a favorite channel of yours) have watched the video.
The last change in the push to give users more control involves video discovery. Over time YouTube can learn that you enjoy videos from specific categories and will now suggest these options at the top of the home page. So, if you have a history of looking up baking recipes, watching late night show monologues, or just want to see what your favorite channels have uploaded recently, you’ll be able to swipe through a number of options at the top of the screen.