By Ashley Carman / @ashleyrcarman
YouTube has officially phased out its Trending tab for a new section called Explore on its iOS and Android apps. Similar to Trending, the Explore page includes videos that are popular at that moment, but it also incorporates broader categories, like gaming, music, beauty, and learning. Trending will retain its own button within the Explore page, so it’s not going away entirely.
The decision, which has been in the making for more than a year, might also help YouTube push “hubs,” or videos that are categorized under specific topics like music. YouTube says it plans to add more of these destination pages over time. The name change also means YouTube will more prominently highlight its Creator on the Rise and Artist on the Rise videos. It says these will show up ahead of other trending videos.
The Trending tab has been controversial with creators. In the past, they worried YouTube favored more traditional media, like TV networks, rather than creators who make the platform unique. Clearly, YouTube is acknowledging that concern by placing its emerging creators and artists toward the top of the Explore page.
Last year, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki acknowledged the importance of putting reputable content on the Trending page. She said the company’s “especially careful about the safety of these videos,” ensuring “they don’t contain profanity or mature content.” Wojcicki also admitted that the company could do better, promising creators that 50 percent of the section would be creator content going forward. This week’s change appears to show YouTube is trying to make discovery by interest easier while also giving creators visibility.
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