YouTube web

YouTube is rolling out a new behavior that keeps the navigation drawer always visible on the desktop web. Additionally, when minimized, there is a new compact rail that provides quick access to five main sections of the site.

When visiting today, you might notice how the navigation drawer is expanded by default. Depending on your screen size, this might result in carousels on the homepage featuring one less video. The nav drawer also remains visible on the search results page and when viewing a channel. However, it is hidden when watching a video.

When signed in, you have quick access to Home, Trending, Subscriptions, and Originals, as well as Library, History, Watch later, and other playlists. Also visible are your first few channel subscriptions.

However, when users are not logged into their Google Account, there is a prominent Sign In prompt and a “Best of YouTube” list.

Besides this new behavior, there is a new rail when users minimize the drawer with the hamburger button in the top-left corner. On larger screens, rails are equivalent to tabs on phone-sized apps.

In the past, side navigation could be completely hidden, but YouTube now links to Home, Trending, Subscriptions, Library, and History with accompanying icons. Visually, this layout is reminiscent to the Google Photos website. This rail does not appear when watching a video, with users having to tap the hamburger menu in the app bar to access navigation.

As of this morning, the always visible navigation drawer and compact rail should be widely rolling out.

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: