YouTube introduces unskippable six-second ads, improves in-app recommendations


What's a Tuesday without a little YouTube news?

Everyone's favorite video viewer has two big-ish announcements today, one a tad more on the good news spectrum than the other. We'll start with the bad-ish news first.

YouTube is rolling out "Bumper ads," basically six-second commercials that, while easily digestible, aren't skippable.

Normally, and mercifully, you can skip longer ads on YouTube after five seconds, but this won't be the case with Vine-length Bumper ads.

Aimed at mobile users, YouTube recommends advertisers using what it calls "little haikus of video ads" as part of a larger campaign, so look for brands to start coming at your eyeballs with clips of varying lengths for the same products.

Bumper ads are headed to phones and tablets beginning in May, so enjoy the option to skip while you can.

Smarter recommendations

Now for the better news.

YouTube's iOS and Android apps are receiving an updated Home page that the site says will make for easier video discovery.

Images for videos are prominently featured - no more tiny thumbnails to squint at.

The new design is backed up by relevant, personalized recommendations based on what you've watched in the past. YouTube says it's tapped into deep neural network tech to bring you videos based on patterns based on your viewing habits. It will, as any good neural network does, get smarter over time.

The new recommendation system is apparently pretty adept at pulling up new videos from channels you subscribe to, so expect to see newer clips from people you already watch to surface more readily.

Michelle Fitzsimmons

Michelle was previously a news editor at TechRadar, leading consumer tech news and reviews. Michelle is now a Content Strategist at Facebook.  A versatile, highly effective content writer and skilled editor with a keen eye for detail, Michelle is a collaborative problem solver and covered everything from smartwatches and microprocessors to VR and self-driving cars.