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YouTube ‘Filters’ are quirky, but do help uncover videos worth watching

I rarely watch programming on the family room television, but over the past several years I’ve spent a significant amount of my evening downtime watching short-duration videos on YouTube across a variety of hobby-based interests.

YouTube mobile apps and website offers viewers a prominent search bar where one can enter keywords. The feature works great, until after a period of time you begin to question to yourself, “There’s got to be more than five people on YouTube uploading videos about [baking | fishing | woodworking | etc.] outside of the handful of contributors I already follow.”

Whether YouTube realizes it or not, there is a lot of great content to discover that is created by contributors with less than 250K subscribers. But don’t rely on YouTube to show them without you putting in some extra work. Let me show you how I recently discovered how to find them.

In addition to the prominent search bar, at least at the time of this writing, you’ll find in the site a ‘Filters’ feature, displayed as either a button or command depending on whether you’re using YouTube’s website or phone/tablet application.

Here’s where things get quirky. I’ve experimented and had the best luck discovering new content when applying TYPE = Video (or) Channel, and SORT BY = View count.

I’ve included a few screen captures below to better illustrate.

Selecting TYPE = Video and SORT BY = View count will show the videos with the highest play counts at the top. But these are the videos for which I’m already most familiar, and therefore this offers no significant benefit to me.

However, selecting TYPE = Channel and SORT BY = View count, the channels relevant to the chosen keyword are sorted with the smallest number of followers, and therefore contain the videos we’ve likely never seen.

Give this a try next time you’re exploring YouTube and I hope you get to discover new content on your favorite hobbies submitted by lesser-known contributors.

YouTube search filters shown on a desktop computer web browser.
YouTube search filters shown in the YouTube app on an Android phone.


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