On 10th November, 2010, YouTube made “YouTube Topic Search” available through its TestTube “labs” area, and was aimed to provide people with a solution, to help them specify their search even if started with something as vague as “funny”. Put simply, YouTube try to identify topics on YouTube and associate videos with them.
“For example, when you search — let’s say for “obama” — we suggest other related topics tied to videos that you might want to explore, such as “michelle obama” or “john mccain.” You can click to get to videos on these topics or you can find videos that contain both topics by clicking on the (+) next to the topic. This is handy for refining. For instance, try searching for “turkey” and you’ll see “thanksgiving” as a refinement option further down the page. We hope topics become a fun way to explore new and interesting corners of YouTube’s video universe,” explains YouTube.
YouTube Topics on Search is still available as a separate page that lists the most popular topics and lets you find topic channels. There’s also an experiment that shows the topic of a video next to the channel’s name and lets you subscribe to the topic. The topic is an automatically generated channel. “We use many different sources to find these topics, including frequently used uploader keywords, common search queries, playlist names, and even sources outside of YouTube such as Wikipedia articles,” explains YouTube’s blog.
Watch the video below for a glimpse inside how YouTube is approaching this challenge:
And, this video showing you how it works:
To enable this experiment — if you use Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera or Internet Explorer 8+, open youtube.com in a new tab, and load:
- Firefox’s Web Console (Ctrl+Shift+K)
- Safari’s Web Inspector (how to do that?)
- Opera Dragonfly (press Ctrl+Shift+I and select the “console” tab)
- IE’s Developer Tools (press F12 and select the “console” tab)
….and paste the following code in your browsers address bar:
document.cookie="VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE=4sBbSJYiyUE; path=/; domain=.youtube.com";window.location.reload();
…then press Enter and close the console.