Need to know what’s happening in the world? YouTube’s breaking news section can tell you.
You may use YouTube for nothing more than cat videos and old NASA footage, but rest assured, you can do a lot more than simply waste time on the video streaming platform. As initially reported by Android Police, YouTube now has a “Breaking News” section that, as the name might suggest, contains a collection of videos that share breaking news from around the world.
The news videos can be seen in a horizontally scrollable format, and while they’re not unique to you, they are unique to your region. So sure, you may not be seeing the same thing in the U.S. as you would in the U.K., but your fellow Americans are being served the same breaking news. If, for some reason, you don’t want to see the news, you can either hit the “x” on your desktop version or tap the “Not interested” option in the three-dot menu on your mobile device.
As it stands, the feature is live on both iOS and Android, as well as on desktop. But it doesn’t look like everyone has the feature quite yet. Nor is it clear as to whether this Breaking News section will only exist when there is, in fact, breaking news, such as a natural disaster or national emergency, or if it will be a constant addition to the YouTube platform.
Although it may seem odd for YouTube to be delving into the breaking news arena — after all, YouTube clips seem to be how folks escape the news, not consume it — it does make sense that the platform would at least try to bring some current events into the content reel. In June, YouTube’s CEO Susan Wojcicki announced that 1.5 billion people watched an hour of video on mobile alone.
Currently, for those who are seeing the new section, it looks as though they’re being served information from traditional networks. However, if the section finds a surer footing, it may be an opportunity for YouTube celebrities and personalities to give their viewers their own take on daily happenings. After all, if Snapchat is serving its viewers daily news, why not YouTube?