The future of interactivity in the living room

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When the YouTube app for TV screens launched 12 years ago, it became a great way for our viewers to watch their favorite YouTube videos on a bigger screen than their computers or mobile phones. Since then, we’ve continued to improve this experience as the popularity of streaming services and watching YouTube on TV has continued to grow. As of January 2022, on average viewers are watching over 700 million hours of YouTube content on TV daily.

As more people watch YouTube on their TVs, one challenge we face as a design team is how to keep the experience simple, streamlined and intuitive, but also bring the best of YouTube to the TV. Today, we’re excited to share a new feature that gives TV viewers a direct way to access the full power of YouTube at your fingertips while watching on your TV.

How we design for the living room

YouTube offers a rich set of features for our global community of more than 2 billion viewers — from liking or commenting to engage with a video, to supporting your favorite creators by subscribing, joining channel memberships, or even sending a Super Sticker.

And on TV screens, we want to offer this same YouTube experience you know and love. But this also poses a handful of design challenges. Our research team has spent hundreds of hours diving into users’ experiences with YouTube on their TVs. We know remote controls can be difficult to use and navigate with, most TVs don’t have web browsers built in, and you generally have less space to work with since you’re always watching video in a full screen experience.

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