YouTube is testing what it’s labeled ‘Moodwall’ on random users of the online video site. As its name suggests Moodwall makes recommendations on the feelings associated with videos. Users aren’t happy with the fledgling feature.
Most of us invariably head to YouTube for a specific reason. We’ll have a subject matter in mind that we want to find and watch a video about. But once you’re on YouTube and have watched the video(s) you were seeking out you’ll then likely be drawn to click on more videos, view a channel, or browse a whole category.
This is of benefit to YouTube for obvious reasons – more videos watched means more ads seen – and it has sought to offer up recommendations to keep users clicking and watching. Up to now these efforts have been mainly based on search terms, but Moodwall looks to be operate differently.
Moodwall is what appears to be the latest effort by YouTube to keep us clicking around wasting hours of our lives on the site. The feature is currently tested on a small number of users, but those who have seen it have already taken to Google’s support forums to complain about it.
Moodwall is headed by the direction to “Explore videos by vibe.” For the test feature Moodwall consists of a bank of 15 videos labeled with single words. These include funny, strange, epic, gross, adorable, and inspiring.
The idea is very clearly to make better recommendations by using the general mood a video embraces or elicits rather than search terms. After all, the latter can be easily manipulated to make videos appear in results when they really shouldn’t.
I like this idea, as long as it would co-exist alongside the other options of video discovery already offered on YouTube. It suggests Google is experimenting with a more organic kind of search offering, even if it’s set to be limited to just YouTube.
[Via The Verge]