YouTube might drop the Explore tab. What’s the replacement

YouTube uses the Explore tab as a source of custom content, selected by the platform’s algorithms based on viewing preferences observed from other users in your geographic region. So even if you’re a fan of documentaries or prefer music from famous artists from overseas, the Explore section is more likely to feature selections of mannequins, cartoons and viral videos than something that fits your user profile.

It’s unclear for now whether YouTube admins also realize that users’ viewing preferences don’t necessarily match the demographic they’ve been included in by the platform’s algorithms, but the Explore tab looks like it will be removed in one of the upcoming updates being prepared for the YouTube for Android app.

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Already in the testing stage, the replacement appears to be a new navigation panel that can be accessed from the left side of the screen. It will contain multiple content categories, allowing users to choose at least one genre of content they might be interested in.

The categories listed in a screenshot shown to the test group mention a Trending section (the true replacement for the Explore tab) along with Music, Movies, Live, Gaming and Sports genres. Presumably the design of the new panel was specifically chosen to allow easy customization of content categories, with the selection likely to vary from region to region. Once you select the category you’re interested in, you’re probably still directed to a list of content similar to the current Explore version, scrolling down until you find something interesting to watch.

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For now, Google isn’t confirming or denying the new YouTube functionality, with the company most likely awaiting user feedback before deciding on the final form of presentation.

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