YouTube redesigns mobile homepage, starts using neural networks for recommending content


YouTube redesigned its mobile interface to a simplified, cleaner look. Video thumbnail sizes occupy the full width of the screen now, making each thumbnail more visible, and easier to identify at a glance. The changes will be noticeable on the YouTube app for Android and iOS devices. The thumbnails have an icon for the creator of the app, so that the source of any video is also easy to identify.

Apart from the cosmetic redesign, there is also big change in the videos are suggested by YouTube. The personalised recommendation system means that Google has deployed deep neural networks to find patterns in your video watching habits, and use those as a base to predict videos that you are likely to enjoy. Time spent on each video, subscriptions to channels, and recently watched videos are all churned by the neural networks behind the new recommendation system. These networks get better at recommendations with just increased use of the site. YouTube recommends hundreds of millions of videos in 76 languages, billions of times, every single day.

The recommendation system is designed to show more unwatched recent videos from the same sources or publishers that you have known to enjoy. Google’s internal analytics show that the new recommendation system results in people spending more time watching the recommended videos.