If you have been to the YouTube streaming video page recently, you may have noticed that the layout of the website has changed.
Apparently Google is back on it with yet another test that will change the layout of the YouTube homepage. The company uses A-B testing to analyze changes and help with the decision-making process; the information will help Google decide whether or not to make a change.
This particular change is visible to a fraction of the user base only at the time of writing. The YouTube homepage displays larger thumbnails when you open it; the current website displays small thumbnails next to each other. The video suggestions are sorted into groups that are recommended, from your subscriptions or specific channels that you watched earlier or that others watched.
The new design removes grouping of content. Instead, all you get is a never ending stream of video lists supported by large thumbnails.
The new large thumbnail design is only active on the YouTube website. When you search for, or browse through subscriptions or trend lists, you get the default layouts.
The new design puts video thumbnails front and center. You may want to install the YouTube Clickbait Remover extension to prevent abuse of custom thumbnails on the site.
One effect of larger thumbnails is that you watch fewer videos at a time. On my system, YouTube showed only six videos, two of them only half, on one page. The old design showed nine videos on one page without scrolling.
Large video thumbnails can look nicer and can work better on TV screens as well. The experience may be different on the desktop. YouTube shows fewer videos on a page that results in more scrolling. Deleting groups makes the entire website look even more random than before because you get even less control over what is displayed.
You can hide some channels recommended for you in the old design, the new one does not show groups or channels so the option is no longer there.
Don’t like videos from a particular channel that you recommend over and over again? The only option left is to use third-party tools to block content on YouTube.
The change feels more like another attempt to remove selections from YouTube, not that there has been much to begin with, and spoon feed videos that YouTube’s algorithm selects to users. Yes, there are searches and subscriptions that give you control, but the clear simplification trend continues unabated.
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It is possible that the new design will be discarded again.
Now You : what is your take on the new design?