YouTube is making it easier to find videos that are bubbling to the internet's surface with a new "Trending" tab, one that's visible on the service's homepage and accessible through iOS and Android devices. It announced the new feature on its official blog this afternoon alongside its annual YouTube Rewind year-in-review video. The tab uses an algorithm based on comments, views, and "external references," and it collects all of the selected videos in one place instead of recommending them within YouTube's homepage.
According to VentureBeat, the tab's contents will vary slightly depending on your location, but they won't have anything to do with your viewing history. YouTube may also elect to keep some particularly explicit videos out of the tab. (The service's curatorial hand is already at work, it seems — the aforementioned YouTube Rewind clip is pinned to the top of my Trending section.) The Android version of Trending allows users to select specific categories like music, gaming, and news, but that functionality isn't yet available on other platforms.
When I look at the section, I see a mix of new videos from popular vloggers, music videos, TV show clips, goofy sports moments, and ads — it's not serving up anything particularly surprising or hidden. All of the videos included were released within the last three days, and most of their view counts hover around five or six figures. The tab won't be able to replace breaking news portals, but it'll update regularly and offer a decent survey glance at what's popular online across a wide range of interests. For some users, that'll be enough to justify its existence.