YouTube is experimenting with making video thumbnails much larger on its homepage, according to several screenshots that appeared on Twitter and Reddit this morning.
The new homepage design, seen in the images below, changes quite a bit about the current setup. Videos are no longer grouped by categories, fewer videos appear in a line for people to scroll through, and, yes, the thumbnails are noticeably larger. It’s unclear just how many people have been served the new layout. We weren’t able to get the design to appear ourselves, so it’s likely a limited test for now. A YouTube spokesperson told The Verge the company is “currently testing a new homepage layout to improve the watch experience for our users.”
So far, it’s not going over well with users. People are complaining that the bigger thumbnails make the homepage more difficult to scroll through. Others have called it disorganized and disorienting.
This is not funny, @YouTube. I'm sorry, but this is the worst update i've ever seen and now homepage is just unusable, i can't look at thumbnails so big, my eyes are in pain right now. You can't make everything gigantic, because now everyone behind my back can see my home page. pic.twitter.com/qejseeqdWU— cardboardProfile (@Kozibackich) August 13, 2019
Some creators on a popular YouTube subreddit have suggested it’s a mobile-inspired design. YouTube’s mobile app uses bigger thumbnails to make images more visible, which is similar to what’s happening in the redesign. The issue, according to one creator, is that on the desktop, it just makes everything look cluttered.
There’s a possibility that YouTube’s redesign is an effort to be more accessible or that YouTube is testing it to gauge reactions before iterating or issuing a wider rollout.