YouTube has made a massive overhaul to its mobile app interface, removing its ‘Trending’ tab — a self-curated list of YouTube’s top videos (on a regional basis) at any given moment — in exchange for a new, long-in-the-works hub dubbed ‘Explore‘.
“With Explore, you not only have access to Trending videos,” the company wrote in a support forum post, “but also to destination pages for some popular content categories like Gaming, Music, Fashion & Beauty, Learning.” Of course, YouTube operates standalone hubs for the aforementioned content categories. There will be two additional categories at the top of Explore as well — for News and Movies And Shows — while Trending will receive its own shortcut button as well. (This means that the Trending ranking isn’t going away altogether; it will still live within Explore).
The new Explore tab will also more prominently display YouTube’s Creator On The Rise and Artist On The Rise shelves — which serve to spotlight emerging voices — by placing them above other trending videos.
Trending, for its part, has faced numerous controversies over the years, as clips touting conspiracy theories have risen its ranks, and bold-faced creators — including Shane Dawson — have questioned the seemingly opaque process by which YouTube determines which videos get ranked. After meeting with Dawson last year, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki conceded that the platform does screen videos with profanity and mature content from appearing on Trending. At the time, she also vowed that, going forward, at least 50% of all Trending videos would come from native YouTube creators.
Explore has been in the works since 2018, and then rolled out slightly wider in Feb. 2019 before officially arriving on mobile and tablet devices on both Android and iOS over the next few days. The initial conceit of Explore, YouTube said at the outset of tests, was to provide additional recommended content based on what viewers are already watching with a broader scope than they were were already receiving on ‘Home’.
You can check out a glimpse of what Explore looks like, courtesy of Team YouTube on Twitter, below:
The Trending tab in the YouTube app is becoming the Explore tab.
You’ll now find all of this👇 in 1⃣ place:
— TeamYouTube (@TeamYouTube) March 12, 2020