YouTube appears to be trying out some new designs for its website, making the video thumbnails on its homepage much larger than they were before.
Several screenshots of the new-look YouTube homepage popped up on Twitter and Reddit recently, with some users also commenting on other noticeable changes. Aside from the bigger thumbnails, videos are no longer grouped together based on their categories. Viewers also can only see a few clips included when they scroll through the webpage.
The homepage redesign seems to affect only a few YouTube users, as others reported that they cannot view any changes on the webpage from their end. It is likely that developers are only testing the new layout on a limited scale.
This was later confirmed by an unnamed YouTube spokesperson, who told The Verge that the company is indeed testing the new homepage layout to help improve people's watch experience.
Backlash From YouTube Users
Some YouTube users have already expressed their dislike of the redesign of the website's homepage. Many of them claim that the larger video thumbnails are making it more difficult for them to scroll through the webpage. The arrangements of the videos are also reportedly disorienting and unorganized.
One Twitter user complained about the "zoomed in" look of the homepage. He said videos are no longer presented as thumbnails but rather as "indexes."
Another user said that the YouTube update made the homepage unusable.
"I'm sorry, but this is the worst update I've ever seen," the person wrote.
"You can't make everything gigantic, because now everyone behind my back can see my home page."
While YouTube is yet to release an official comment on the homepage redesign, some creators shared their thoughts about the matter on the YouTube subreddit. They believe that the new layout is possibly geared toward mobile use.
The YouTube mobile app presents videos using larger thumbnails to help make them more visible to users. This is quite similar to what is going on with the website's desktop version. However, the new layout only makes the homepage look more cluttered and disorienting when viewed on a PC.
The community manager of the YouTube subreddit said the changes are part of an experiment being conducted by the YouTube team and that there is no way to opt out of the experiment as of the moment.
The moderator added that YouTube's homepage team regularly run tests such as these to collect feedback to help improve users' watch experience.
People who can view the new layout can reach out to YouTube and provide their opinions about it via the website's feedback page.