YouTube is rolling out a series of experimental features for its Android app users, in a bid to enhance user experience and foster engagement.
The platform, known for its vast collection of videos and content, has announced the testing of several novel functionalities aimed at making content discovery, interaction, and learning more seamless and engaging.
1. Search by Song Through Humming or Recording: One of the standout experiments involves the introduction of an innovative search method.
Users will soon be able to find songs on YouTube by simply humming or recording a snippet of the song being played.
This new search capability aims to recognize songs accurately even if users provide a hummed rendition or a short recording lasting three (3) seconds or more.
Upon successful identification of the song, users will be directed to official music content, user-generated videos, and Shorts related to the searched song within the YouTube app.
This experiment is currently accessible to a limited subset of Android users globally.
2. Channel Shelf for Subscriptions Feed: YouTube is also piloting a feature to streamline content discovery within users’ Subscriptions feed.
This experiment involves bundling multiple video uploads from a single content creator into a “shelf” within the feed. By doing so, YouTube aims to help viewers easily locate the content they’re interested in.
Additionally, this feature is designed to alleviate the pressure on creators to upload frequently and enable viewers to engage more effectively with the content on the shelf, as well as navigate to other content while scrolling through their feed.
The initial testing phase is underway with a small percentage of users.
3. Interactive Q&A Stickers for Shorts: For creators of YouTube Shorts, the platform is introducing interactive Q&A stickers.
These stickers allow content creators to pose questions to their audience, fostering community building and interaction.
Customizable questions, such as “What song should I dance to next?” can be posted by creators, and viewers can respond via comments.
The responses will be visible to other viewers, enhancing the interactive experience.
While this experiment is being rolled out to a limited number of creators, the Q&A stickers will be viewable across all devices, except for desktop or TV where they won’t be tappable.
4. ‘Key Concepts’ Identification for Learning Videos: To bolster the educational value of its platform, YouTube is testing a feature that automatically identifies key concepts covered in academic learning videos.
For educational content, particularly those related to subjects like biology, physics, and chemistry, the platform will present images and short text snippets on the video’s watch page.
Creators retain the option to opt out of this feature at the video level, ensuring flexibility.
The initial phase of testing for ‘Key Concepts’ is limited to a small number of English-language learning videos and will exclusively take place on mobile devices.
These experiments showcase YouTube’s commitment to evolving its platform to cater to user preferences and behaviours, while also providing innovative tools for content creators to engage with their audiences more effectively.
As the trials progress and feedback is gathered, it remains to be seen which of these experimental features will become permanent fixtures of the YouTube experience.