Navigating the home page
The home page of YouTube (www.youtube.com) is a fickle beast. It was once the fount of discovery for YouTube viewers. If you were looking for new content, the home page was the place to be. Over the years, though, YouTube changed the home page experience. Many changes have been tied to the company’s desire to know its viewers. Viewers who are logged in with accounts and who have a history of using YouTube see videos that might appeal to them based on past usage. New users and those not logged in see the videos that are currently most popular on the site.
The logged-in experience
As long as you’re logged in to YouTube when you watch videos, the site is busily keeping track of everything you see and trying to form an idea about what kind of videos you like. This information dynamically drives the home page you see, and YouTube tries to show you videos that it thinks you’ll like. Your home page will come to be dominated by material that is similar to material you’ve watched in the past.
Here’s a quick tour of what you’re likely to see when you log on to www.youtube. com after you create an account. (Again, we tell you more about creating an account later in this chapter, in the section “Working with a YouTube Account.”) Take a look at Figure 2-1 to see how a YouTube home page looks when you log in.
Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words, and sometimes you need a thou- sand words to explain what that picture is actually trying to show you. When it comes to the YouTube home page, you definitely need the thousand words. The list in the following section offers descriptions of what’s on the home page.
Along the top
These are essentially YouTube’s main controls, and with them, you can access most of the site’s essential functions.
» The Guide icon: This button, consisting of three horizontal bars, sits next to the YouTube button. Clicking it brings up a guide of channels and topics that
may be of interest to the viewer.
» The YouTube button: Though it looks exactly like the YouTube logo, this button actually does something in addition to looking pretty; clicking it always
brings you back to the YouTube home page.
» The Search box: Whenever you need to search for a video, this is where you
- Enter keywords to fi videos that may match what you’re looking for.
YouTube home page.
» The Upload icon: When you’re ready to upload a video, you get started by
using this camera-shaped button. Clicking it opens a dropdown menu, giving
you the option to post a video or do a livestream. (Read more about the
Upload icon in Chapter 9.)
» The YouTube Apps icon: This button, consisting of nine tiny squares, allows you to access a suite of other YouTube applications, including its own
television service, YouTube TV; music streaming, via YouTube Music; and a safer, child-oriented site, YouTube Kids. It also has helpful tools for creators. The Creator Academy provides instructional guides for users hoping to maximize their channel’s eff YouTube for Artists off s musicians a means of promoting and growing their content.
» The Notifi bell: Notifi of any activity relevant to your user experience appear here. As a YouTube creator, you’re alerted whenever
activity happens on your channel, including comments, video sharing, and more. As a viewer who has notifi turned on, you’re notifi d whenever channels upload videos or make posts.
» Channel icon: A round image button shows either the Channel icon you come
up with or an image associated with your Google ID when you’re logged in.
Use this button to get to YouTube Studio, which is your YouTube Mission
Control, or to confi your YouTube account settings.
You can log on to YouTube through your Google account, but we recommend having an associated YouTube channel, to get all the benefi of your YouTube experience, such as creating playlists. (For more on playlists, see Chapter 3.)