Currently, YouTube is testing a new recommendation feature for mobile and desktop users that will suggest keywords, creators and similar topics.
The suggested words appear inside blue bubbles underneath that subscribe button on desktops and under the video on mobile. The Verge has released a few screenshots of the blue bubbles.
Right now, YouTube is testing the feature with a small set of people. The group includes users from both YouTube’s main desktop page and mobile apps. So you will not likely see the bubbles if you check.
There appear to be four categories specified on the MMA video above: all, related videos by channel, related videos by topic and recommended for you. Sometimes, the recommended videos on the side don’t have much to do with the video you are currently watching. These tag bubbles could make it better and easier for YouTubers to keep viewers on their channels.
YouTube wants to improve the way it suggests content
YouTube’s suggestion algorithm has been under fierce criticism, recently being exposed for recommending conspiracy videos more often than not. These new suggestion bubbles are a clear sign that YouTube’s looking into new ways to suggest content.
“I think that’s definitely an area where we see there’s an opportunity for us to figure out how can we continue to diversify the content that you’re seeing, continue to improve the recommendations, rely on the authoritativeness of the publishers,” CEO Susan Wojcicki told Wired in March 2018. “There are many things we’re doing to continue improving how our recommendations work.”
It’s not clear if the videos in the recommendation bubbles will debut with similar criticism as YouTube’s recommended videos. But it does appear to be a more focused way of recommending videos. And that seems to be a good step.