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YouTube testing large TV-esque video thumbnails on web homepage

YouTube is testing a homepage redesign on the web that leverages very large video thumbnails. Greatly hurting information density, this big YouTube homepage A/B test is currently being panned by the users that have it.

Over the past day (via the Verge), the Google-owned video site has been A/B testing a major tweak to the web homepage that significantly increases the size of video thumbnails. The specific design depends on your screen resolution, with some on smaller displays getting only two videos per line.

A more common scenario for those with average screens is up to four clips across. The video and channel name, along with view count and upload time, still appears at the bottom of the thumbnail. YouTube also adds the channel avatar to the left.

The rest of the interface, including navigation and app drawer, stays the same size. However, there is a key change to videos no longer being organized under various carousels.

This experience is particularly ideal for those with a larger desktop screen. It’s a great lean-back experience that’s akin to YouTube for Android TV. However, for most other users, this makes browsing the homepage very annoying if the number of videos they can see per screen is greatly minimized.

There are also clear advantages to the thumbnail being larger and higher-res for visibility, while the hover preview would also benefit.

At the moment, this big YouTube homepage thumbnail design is not widely rolled out after checking on several devices this morning. It began to appear last night, with more reports now emerging.

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

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