YouTube’s Android app could soon hide user comments by default

Image credit: Freestocks / Pexels

As great as YouTube is as a content platform, its comments section is, to put it mildly, far less highly regarded – for every positive or insightful comment found under any given video, you often find dozens of nasty, inappropriate or idiotic ones. 

Google has long been aware of the problem, and has started investigating ways of combating the ugly comments and relentless 'hold my beer' memes that have come to plague the service's comment section.

As reported by XDA Developers, YouTube's latest test, which has reportedly only rolled out in India, takes the 'sweep it under the rug' approach to problem solving, and involves hiding the comments section by default on the platform's Android app. 

Instead of showing user comments directly under several 'up next' videos, the test version opts for a new 'comments' button that can be found alongside the usual 'thumbs up', 'thumbs down', 'share' and 'download' icons.

Image credit: XDA Developers

Image credit: XDA Developers (Image credit: XDA Developers)

As you can see from the image above, the new 'comments' icon reportedly replaces the traditional 'save to watch later' button in the main row, however, that functionality is still accessible via a drop down menu.

At present, there's no official word on whether Google plans to roll out the feature globally, however it did tell Gizmodo that "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.”

Stephen Lambrechts
Senior Journalist, Phones and Entertainment

Stephen primarily covers phones and entertainment for TechRadar's Australian team, and has written professionally across the categories of tech, film, television and gaming in both print and online for over a decade. He's obsessed with smartphones, televisions, consoles and gaming PCs, and has a deep-seated desire to consume all forms of media at the highest quality possible. 

He's also likely to talk a person’s ear off at the mere mention of Android, cats, retro sneaker releases, travelling and physical media, such as vinyl and boutique Blu-ray releases. Right now, he's most excited about QD-OLED technology, The Batman and Hellblade 2: Senua's Saga.