Google is adding a dedicated coronavirus news shelf to YouTube to keep you informed about the outbreak.
In a tweet, the company announced the new section, which will reside on the home page, will feature COVID-19 news from trusted sources. Google hasn’t clarified who made it to its list of authoritative outlets, but a screenshot shows ABC News, The Washington Post, and CNN are among the selected few.
We want everyone to have access to authoritative content during this trying time, so we’re launching a COVID-19 news shelf on our homepage in 16 countries. We’ll expand to more countries, as well. pic.twitter.com/nivKDZ2mHo
— YouTubeInsider (@YouTubeInsider) March 19, 2020
The Big G says the dedicated news section is already available in 16 countries, and there are plans to roll it out to more countries. We’ve reached out to Google to ask what countries are on the list for now, and where we can expect the service to show up in the coming days. We’ll update this piece if we hear back.
The move to launch a coronavirus news section from authoritative sources is in line with the YouTube’s past curation efforts. In 2018, the company announced it would be featuring content from news organizations more prominently on its platform.
“Authoritativeness is essential to viewers, especially during fast-moving, breaking news events, so we’ve been investing in new product features to prominently surface authoritative sources,” a blog post read.
While well-intentioned, the decision drew the ire of many independent creators who suffered staggering drops in traffic as a result of the change in the algorithm.
Of course, YouTube is hardly the only platform leaning on authoritative sources during the COVID-19 pandemic.
WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook have launched similar information pages with information from trusted sources like the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the United Nations Development Programme.