YouTube has frequently taken heat for diminishing subscriber-selected content across its platform in favor of suggested videos driven by an algorithm.
With a new experiment, however, YouTube is looking to make subscribed content even more prominent. On its Creator Insider channel, the company announced that a new ‘Subscriptions‘ self will be rolling out for 0.25% of English language users on their ‘Home’ pages — bringing self-selected content to a tab within the app that is widely dominated by suggestions.
Creator Insider host and YouTube product management director Tom Leung explained that past attempts to integrate subscribed videos into the home page proved ineffective (see below, beginning at the 3:07-minute mark). “Whenever we put subscriptions on the home page, the viewer engagement and watch time was reduced,” he explained, “but now we’re trying an experiment where it’s just one shelf to see what the impact is, what the viewer feedback is.”
In May, YouTube announced a controversial test whereby it said would order certain users’ subscriptions feeds algorithmically — rather than chronologically — angering many top creators in the process. A more welcome recent test saw the addition of an ‘Explore’ tab that appears at the bottom of the app’s homescreen for select iOS users, providing a broader scope of recommended videos than is currently offered on home.