YouTube is launching a redesigned home tab for its mobile apps — touting its “clean and simple” format — along with an improved recommendation engine, in a bid to spur smartphone users to watch even more videos.
The new design, available for the YouTube app on iOS and Android, features large, high-resolution images to make it easier for users to identify videos they want to watch, and a prominent icon highlights the creator for every video.
And with the update, YouTube claims the app is even better at predicting what you want to watch. The new recommendation system is based on “deep neural network technology,” which YouTube says is better able to find patterns automatically and improves its recommendations over time as it learns about a user’s tastes. The updated app actually will display fewer recommendations, showing videos in a ranked list of what to watch, although those in theory will be more relevant.
“This isn’t just a new coat of paint on the same old Home,” YouTube product managers Brian Marquardt and Todd Beaupré wrote in a blog post.
YouTube’s last major app redesign came last July, introducing the three-tab interface with Home, Trending and Subscriptions sections — a change that drew mixed reactions from users.
YouTube says it tested the latest design with a group of users, and that people who have tried the new system have spent more time watching new videos and content from their subscriptions.
According to YouTube, the video service adds a few tweaks every week to improve its recommendation engine. In the new versions of the app, the “shelves” that grouped similar videos together have been replaced with a single ranked list.