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FYI YouTube home screen does not show any videos if watch history is off
17 points by woofwoofwoof 10 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 34 comments
Looks like they really want you to enable watch history.

Tell HN: YouTube requires watch history on for home screen https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=37158674

Tell HN: YouTube is not showing home recommendations when watch history is off https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=37157835

YouTube Will Display a Blank Home Feed If Your Watch History Is Turned Off https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=37151135

YouTube will stop showing videos on the homepage if your watch history is off https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=37066718

YouTube no longer suggests videos if your ‘watch history’ is turned off https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=37058189

YouTube will stop showing videos on the homepage if your watch history is off https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=37054233

YouTube will now show a blank homepage if you don’t have watch history on https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=37053817

Ash HN: YouTube home page blank when history is off https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=36963702

They wrote a blog post about this change last week as if it was a good thing.

It's not a good thing: "you’ll be able to see the search bar and the left-hand guide menu, with no feed of recommended videos thus allowing you to more easily search, browse subscribed channels and explore Topic tabs instead."

I'm still not enabling my watch history.

I've got an android YouTube app on my Pico projector and it's never logged in, but it definitely remembers my history and only takes a few hours of watching to dial into a narrow band of recommendations.

So, this appears to be some legal derived obeyance, nothing more.

They’re deliberately being a petty asshole about it (that part isn’t good) but the end result is actually probably better for your brain so I’m fine with the pettiness.

I've had to clear my like and watch history a few times, since I'll watch foreign language tech videos and it often messes up my feed. History off was my default to fix yt's issues.

Theres a browser extension, pockettube, that turns yt into a cable network, tons of features, it really has made yt more usable and enjoyable.


I wish someone would make a pockettube type app that wasnt just for yt, but also worked with other video services. Maybe give me a priority of videos per platform, so I could pick the platform that makes the most money for the creator.

Its kinda like rss feeds with a front end, amazed nobody has made this, we have it for podcasts and news, but not video platforms? so strange.


The unlogged YT front page usually makes me feel like I've lost 10 IQ points

I have heard that TikTok algorithm is great as long as you give it a bit time to learn your preferences. I don't think I would be able to survive that process, for exact same reason - it serves absolute dumb garbage, in hundreds.

Seeded by things you've thumbs-upped was pretty decent. This change will just make me less likely to browse YouTube.

This is actually so much better.

Agree. On mobile has become essentially the Google experience meaning there’s just a search field and nothing else. I personally love it.

You guys use the home screen? It's just ads. Watch the subscription feed.

My subscription feed is filled with things that are completely irrelevant because it doesn't adapt to my interests. I guess I could prune my subscriptions but why would I when the home screen works so much better? Also if you only watch people you're already subscribed to it will be hard to find new things. I don't know what makes you say the home screen is "just ads" because that's definitely not true

It's just ads because YouTube serves you think most clickbaity thing that will keep your eyeballs on screen (for the ads). Homepage doesn't care about discovery at all that's just a side effect.

I think maybe you should stop subscribing to channels you don't like?

I'd trade this for the eradication of shorts. The format is simply mind-numbing, and the volume of low effort content with zero relevance is a big turn off.

That's a good feature- I don't want to see any recommendations.

Is there anyone with view history turned off that doesn't have their youtube shortcut go directly to the flow=2 subscription videos page?

My watch history is off. How do I turn off Home Screen? I still get it

Staggered implementation? I still had a home page yesterday but it's gone this morning.

Delete your watch history.

Youtube needs a refresh suggestions button

On the home screen, clicking the Youtube logo refreshes the suggestions. Or did I misunderstand and you want it in a different view?

It think they mean more like "nothing on the home page looks interesting show different stuff". Sometimes YouTube will decide " I'm only going to recommend these 3 videos to you for the next month" or just misses the mark on the stuff I'm interested in watching

I guess the Apple TV app leaves something to be desired but then again.. that makes total sense for Google / Chromecast

Youtube consistently forgets that I watched a video just a few days ago (no red line on the bottom of the thumbnail), and will suggest it over and over until you manually go to click on the ignore. Even recently they had a “suggest new” button on top near the “interests” buttons that would appear there, but I haven’t seen it for several weeks or maybe longer.

Youtube will also randomly switch a video I’m watching to 480p even though I pay for premium.

Their suggestion algorithm is also pretty bad to me, although maybe it works for some people.

YESSSS this is my biggest gripe. It's like come on Google you know the moment I take a pee in the morning, you know I watched this video

“I’m feeling lucky” and “Just show me a random video” would be fun.

Also just having weird stuff like “show me a video that most closely matches this color scheme” or “find me the antipode of this video”

Look for an app called "Neverthink". It's on Apple-TV too.

as someone who is never logged in, this was actually the case a week ago. However, it has since returned to the old ways (which means that I get suggestions that are based on my history). (Europe, Firefox)

Good. This is exactly what people who disable watch history wants.

How so?

I don’t enable watch history but would still like to see recommendations. Could be based on geography, or overall trends, or time of day. Or whatever.

Also, I find it funny to think Google isn’t tracking my watch history even if they aren’t showing it back to me. So why not try to have a positive user behavior.

I don’t like Google’s attitude of “we’re going to purposely make our product shitty unless you enable all the data settings we want you to and that maximize our revenue.”

They do the same thing with Maps and it’s offputting and one of the main reasons I no longer use them. The idea that I can’t set local cookies for common locations and must enable cloud saving is so stupid. So they made their map client worse by not allowing local places. I don’t mind my own phone knowing my home address, but don’t want it in my google profile.

> I don’t enable watch history but would still like to see recommendations. Could be based on geography, or overall trends, or time of day.

The Explore tab has "Trending, Music, Gaming, News, Sports". And each of those has more specific sub-sections.

For happier customers, they should pick one of those and show it by default.

Doubtful. They want privacy. It doesn't equate to wanting no recommendations.

The android YouTube App on my Pico projector doesn't need a. Login to watch my history and make recommendations.

The most likely privacy invasion is like the most likely assailant in violence: people you know.

I actually glad, I can just go to my subs directly

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