YouTube has started testing a new layout to hide comments by default. The new layout, which has rolled out to some Android users in India initially, hides the comments section unless users tap a ‘Comments’ button that sits just below the video player. This is unlike the existing interface that hosts comments just beneath the ‘Up next’ section listing all the recommended videos. YouTube has confirmed the rolling out of the new layout to Gadgets 360, though it is unclear whether it will be extended to other platforms apart from Android, including iOS and Web.
The Comments button is seen alongside the existing Like, Dislike, and Share buttons that are visible prominently just below the video player on the YouTube app. Tapping the dedicated button brings the comments section in an overflow window, reports XDA Developers alongside specifying that the change has been noticed on the YouTube for Android app in India.
The change notably disables the comments section by default that traditionally appears just below the Up next section. Moreover, it seems to be a strategic move by the YouTube team to finally hide all the pesky and irrelevant comments that are quite common on the video streaming site.
Apart from the comments that often annoy YouTubers, YouTube in the past faced major controversies for objectionable and abusive remarks that appear in its comments section. The new layout could help avoid such issues to some extent.
A YouTube spokesperson in an emailed statement to Gadgets 360 confirmed the latest rollout. “We’re always experimenting with ways to help people more easily find, watch, share and interact with the videos that matter most to them,” the spokesperson said.
“We are testing a few different options on how to display comments on the watch page. This is one of many small experiments we run all the time on YouTube, and we’ll consider rolling features out more broadly based on feedback on these experiments.”
Notably, Gadgets 360 wasn’t able to spot the Comments button on a range of Android devices. It remains uncertain whether the fresh layout will go beyond select users in the future.