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YouTube will remove recommended videos for users with turned-off watch history

YouTube does not show videos

YouTube announced today it will no longer show recommended videos on parts of the platform like the homepage and Up Next to users who have turned off their watch history entirely.

The change was announced on a YouTube support page, explaining that video recommendations rely on watch history data to surface relevant content. With watch history off, users will see a mostly blank homepage with just the search bar and side menu.

YouTube said this is to "make it clearer which YouTube features rely on watch history" and allow users to search and browse subscriptions and topics instead of recommendations more easily. However, the change does not seem to impact logged-out users without accounts and watch history. Recommendations will still be shown to them.

Your home feed may look a lot different: you'll be able to see the search bar and the left-hand guide menu, with no feed of recommended videos thus allowing you to more easily search, browse subscribed channels and explore Topic tabs instead.

For users with a watch history turned off, the lack of tailored recommendations could be seen as positive or negative. On the positive side, it may allow more focus on subscribed content. However, on the negative side, it removes the chance to discover new videos.

YouTube does not show videos

Early feedback on the reduced recommendations has been mixed, with some praising more control while others will miss the algorithm's suggested videos. It remains to be seen how most users will respond to seeing a more blank, search-focused homepage on YouTube in the future.

The new experience will roll out slowly over the next few months. This follows another change to YouTube's privacy options.

Last week, Google introduced a new 1080p premium video option for YouTube streaming on desktops and laptops, offering higher quality and clarity at a higher bitrate, and the feature is gradually rolling out to TV-based streaming devices.

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