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YouTube tests 'Explore' feature to expand our viewing habits

The experimental tab will help in finding new channels and videos.

YouTube app on digital devices
YouTube is experimenting with an "Explore" tab to broaden people's viewing habits.
NurPhoto/Getty

YouTube launched an experimental "Explore" tab to guide people to fresh videos and channels on mobile.

The tab will show at the bottom of the app's home screen for 1 percent of those using YouTube on iOS and is designed to let them "broaden their horizons", according to Tom Leung, the company's director of product management.

"Explore is designed to help you be exposed to different kinds of topics, videos or channels that you might not otherwise encounter," he said in the Creator Insider announcement. "But they're still personalized, so they're still based on your viewing activity."

From the creators' perspective, Leung says the tab should help their audience growth as people access a wider variety of content -- currently YouTube's recommendations are usually based around creators whose videos they've already watched.

Leung didn't have any information on the experiment's timeframe, but said we could expect updates on popular projects "in future videos."

In May, the company revealed that it has 1.8 billion people registered viewers every month. Before that, we learned that 400 hours of video are uploaded to the site every minute -- plenty for the "Explore" feature to draw from.

Updated at 8.58 am: Adds comment on project timeframe from Leung.

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