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Your YouTube homepage could soon go blank – here’s why

Some users appreciating the distraction-free interface while others express concern about the lack of recommendations.

youtube logo with blurred background
Image: KnowTechie

YouTube has decided to hit the refresh button on its homepage, but not in the way you’d expect. The video-sharing giant has announced that it will now display a blank homepage if your watch history is turned off, as reported by The Verge.

YouTube says the new layout is part of a “new viewer experience,” and will only feature the search bar, along with the Shorts, Subscriptions, and Library buttons.

Starting today, if you have YouTube watch history off and have no significant prior watch history, features that require watch history to provide video recommendations will be disabled – like your YouTube home feed. This means that starting today, your home feed may look a lot different: you’ll be able to see the search bar and the left-hand guide menu, with no feed of recommended videos thus allowing you to more easily search, browse subscribed channels and explore Topic tabs instead.

This could be a breath of fresh air for those tired of wading through a sea of extreme thumbnails, but it could also be a clever ploy to nudge users into reactivating their watch history.

Android Authority notes that the change has already begun and will reach all users in the next few months.

The move has been met with mixed reviews, with some users appreciating the distraction-free interface while others express concern about the lack of recommendations.

The image is showing a prompt to the user to update their YouTube watch history settings to get tailored videos. Full Text: 9:31 Yo 4G+ 1 950% )YouTube Search YouTube Your watch history is off You can change your setting at any time to get the latest videos tailored to you. Learn more Update setting K
Image: KnowTechie

If you were to ask us, this update has solved an arguably annoying problem for those who prefer a simpler, less cluttered homepage. However, the question remains: Will this decision enhance user experience, or will it push users to seek their video content elsewhere?

Either way, it will be interesting to see if YouTube’s gamble pays off or if it will be forced to hit the ‘undo’ button on this radical change.

Have any thoughts on this? Drop us a line below in the comments, or carry the discussion to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Kevin is KnowTechie's founder and executive editor. With over 15 years of blogging experience in the tech industry, Kevin has transformed what was once a passion project into a full-blown tech news publication. Shoot him an email at kevin@knowtechie.com or find him on Mastodon or Post.

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