YouTube adds ‘breaking news’ section to homepage and mobile apps

YouTube is usually one of the first places to look for breaking news, and now Google seems to be making that even easier by adding a “Breaking News” carousel to its mobile apps and homepage, as spotted by Android Police.

The new section appears similar to a recommended channel on the web homepage, and as a scrollable carousel in the mobile app between suggested videos. At the time of publication, the breaking news section was largely focused on reports of Steve Bannon leaving his position at the White House, but Android Police noted that it had been filled with videos regarding the Barcelona terror attack earlier in the day.

For now, it’s unclear whether Google is populating this section algorithmically or curating content by hand, or whether or not it’ll even appear at all times or just during breaking news cycles. Still, it’s another useful addition to the front page of YouTube that will hopefully help keep people informed during fast new cycles.


Noticed this just a few minutes ago and my feed has really gone down hill as a whole. There’s this new section, but there’s also next to zero videos from my subscriptions until I scroll several pages down. Even then, they’re all years old. Many 5-6 years old.

Also, the general topic sections are very mass market. I had to double check that I was even logged in as it looked more like the generic home page. You’d expect the entertainment and music sections to be curated to me, like in the past, but now they’re full of songs and videos I have no clue about.

YouTube’s homepage/recommendations seem to have been shit for a while.

Does anyone know what the numbers next to subscriptions actually reflect? They’re clearly not the number of recent videos.

I have a dedicated YouTube account that subscribes ONLY to edutainment content. As in, I’ve subscribed to probably 50+ different edutainment channels. I basically get:

  • This stupid breaking news garbage
  • A bunch of "recommended" videos that are clearly just most popular/ad-driven
  • The stupidest "your subscriptions" display possible, which is literally just whatever I’ve subscribed to, their most recent videos.

Discovery on YouTube is a real problem. For a company with as many resources dedicated to machine learning as Google has, and for as much information about users as they surely have, AND having basically the largest repository of videos on the planet many times over, it’s mind-boggling how stupid their recommendation engine is.

Also, there are way more fake headlines and thumbnails now, compared with two years ago. Some of them are ridiculous.

Something I never needed.

No doubt it will not be ‘fake’ news.

Absolute. Only Google supported videos mirroring their viewpoint.

Yes! Progressive ideals & ideas sounds great to me! What else would you want? Digressive, fear driven perspectives? Sounds unhealthy.

Who gets to define what is right? Google sure as hell shouldn’t be.

YouTube is trying to be too many things. It’s becoming a really poor experience, their front page is a complete mess, and they recommend so many things that are pushing their own ad-driven interests, and not the content people actually care about. It’s frustrating for both viewers and content creators, and it’s making them vulnerable on many different fronts.

It definitely is frustrating as they’re selecting content that only does well at keeping people on YouTube & keeps them viewing Ads. So an otherwise great creator who doesn’t have the best watch time because they create succinct 3-4 minute videos instead of unnecessarily long/drawn out 9-16 minute videos gets punished by rarely if ever showing up on YouTube’s home page. And since it’s the one page every account views/interacts with the most, it’s very harmful. Creators are purposefully padding their content to be 9-16 minutes just to try and game the system leading to long, drawn out, under edited content.

Spot-on. Additionally, YouTube rewards creators that put out a steady stream of videos (think: 2-3 videos per week). That pace is almost impossible for independent creators, so usually one of two things happens:

1. They water down their content, and end up doing crap like top 10s, reaction videos, etc.
2. They just do their own thing, and eventually burn out because they can’t get any momentum on their channel.

If they choose the second route, then they get almost zero ad revenue, which is the other problem. Viewers on YouTube think "What a great system, I get free videos, and creators get paid." In reality, the average person is making almost nothing from YouTube. Google doesn’t allow people to talk about how much they earn (it’s against their terms of service) but most estimates are that it’s less than $1,000 per 1 million views. Since you get more traffic by spamming content, and thus more revenue, that just perpetuates the low-quality content being pushed on YouTube.

It’s not a sustainable system, and eventually all of the quality content creators will leave YouTube.

I’ve noticed this feed on the 3rd Gen Apple TV YouTube app for a few months now. I never paid enough attention to notice that I didn’t have it on my homepage also.

Great. Another outlet for non-news and fear mongering.

‘Breaking news’ – videos that offers the official viewpoint of Google and the mainstream press.
What a waste of space.
I guess the public must also stay on message.

Great. No doubt, it should have been done some time ago..

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