YouTube Upgrades Trending Section With New Explore Tab

Photo: Sam Rutherford, Gizmodo

After almost two years of testing, YouTube is finally moving on from the boring old Trending tab with the introduction of the new Explore tab.

Rolling out now on mobile (both Android and iOS), the new Explore tab replaces the Trending tab at the bottom of the app, while revamped curation and links to various destination pages and categories makes it easier to watch videos about topics you’re actually interested in.

YouTube also says the Explore tab will help promote “Creators and Artists on the Rise” before regular trending videos, with the goal being to help introduce viewers to new and emerging channels.

As for trending videos themselves, they can be found sprinkled throughout the main Explore feed or in their own dedicated destination page alongside other categories for Music, Gaming, News, Movies & Shows, Fashion & Beauty, and Learning.

YouTube has now moved the Trending section and all the other destination pages to the top of the app inside the Explore tab. (Photo: Sam Rutherford, Gizmodo)

It appears YouTube will feature videos in those destination pages based on content it already knows you like. When I click the gaming section, for example, I see videos about Age of Empires 2, Teamfight Tactics, and clips from gaming channels I’m already subscribed to. So in a sense, destination pages are just a more targeted place to check out videos for stuff you already like, and maybe find new content that YouTube’s algorithm thinks you might enjoy.

YouTube says it plans to continue adding new destination pages in the future, and while the the initial lineup looks decent, there are a couple major topics, like sports, that didn’t make the roster.

That’s sort of a shame, because a having a dedicated sports section would be incredibly useful for someone like me who enjoys watching game highlights, but doesn’t want to deal with wading through the deluge of clips featuring talking heads that you’d get if you subscribed to ESPN’s YouTube channel or something similar.

While it’s unclear if the Explore tab will come to YouTube on desktop, as it already has a section for various topics in the desktop sidebar, the new Explore tab and its destination pages seem like a pretty straightforward upgrade for helping people find interesting new videos while also surfacing fewer videos they don’t care about.

That said, YouTube’s recommendation engine for Creators on the Rise might need some tweaking, because my first recommended creator was a channel with videos about tractors and other farming equipment. That is neat, but not exactly what I’m searching for when I go to YouTube.

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