YouTube is making even more changes to the way you watch videos, just in case you thought the video platform was done complicating its service after introducing YouTube Music. As noticed by MacRumors, YouTube is now testing non-chronological subscription feeds, a feature pretty much no one asked for, and one that is incredibly redundant. Why does every site with a feed seek to alter the concept of time?
YouTube confirmed the test on Twitter after some users noticed the change and inquired as to why the heck their subscription feed was no longer in chronological order. YouTube must have missed the memo about how users react when platforms mess with the order of the sacred feed.
Just to clarify. We are currently experimenting with how to show content in the subs feed. We find that some viewers are able to more easily find the videos they want to watch when we order the subs feed in a personalized order vs always showing most recent video first.
— Team YouTube (@TeamYouTube) May 23, 2018
While companies have increasingly turned to algorithms to surface content that will keep you engaged longer, users have yet to take a shine to the prospect of being served what a company wants you to see rather than what’s actually there. One of the largest complaints levelled against Instagram is its futzing with the chronological timeline of user feeds. Twitter loves to stick old tweets you missed while you were asleep or away in your timeline, seemingly to fuck with your sense of order. This seems like an unnecessarily user-hostile decision on YouTube’s part.
Here’s YouTube’s how-to and troubleshooting Twitter account explained the test: “Just to clarify. We are currently experimenting with how to show content in the subs feed. We find that some viewers are able to more easily find the videos they want to watch when we order the subs feed in a personalised order vs always showing most recent video first.”
Weird, considering YouTube already offers recommended videos based on your viewing habits and subscribed channels in its sidebar. Gizmodo has reached out to YouTube for clarification and further information about the subscription feed change.