YouTube stops recommending videos if you’re logged out

by Jerry

YouTube will no longer recommend videos on your homepage — if you access without any accounts logged in. The change was already expected, as it has been seen in tests in recent months. Now, if you log in without any login, you will see a message suggesting to perform a search on the platform so that the algorithm recommends more videos.

This change only applies to the homepage, with an end .com. Users will be able to see featured videos in the platform’s trending video menus, including their choices by categories, such as “Games” or “Music.” Prior to this change, YouTube showed on its homepage a recommendation for videos based on popularity on the platform.

Now, for logged-out users to receive recommendations from YouTube, they need to conduct searches and watch some videos. Doing a brief test, it took a while for the platform’s algorithm to start suggesting content closer to the topics I had searched for (technology and gaming videos).

The novelty is not related to the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA). The law has among its objectives to force platforms to give users the option not to receive recommendations based on algorithms. As we see in the short test we did, YouTube will continue to analyze the client’s search and usage history — even in an incognito window.

For those who don’t have a YouTube account and don’t want to create one, the novelty can be useful — or for those who don’t want the platform hunting for their tastes to play targeted ads.

If you log out of your account, you will receive the same warning on the homepage. Some X/Twitter users report that deleting all search and view history delivers the same message.

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