YouTube wants to show you Shorts in more places on the web

YouTube Shorts logo on a mobile phone
(Image credit: Jay Bonggolto / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • After recently announcing YouTube Shorts nets over 70B daily views, YouTube is testing  Shorts in the recommended sidebar. 
  • YouTube Shorts have started to appear in the recommended sidebar on the web for a limited number of accounts in the form of a carousel. 
  • The new Shorts carousel takes up about two to three times the space of a typical YouTube video in the sidebar and can show up to three videos at once. 

YouTube celebrated the success of YouTube Shorts last week, sharing that Shorts get over 70 billion views per day in a blog post. YouTube might be trying to continue that growth by putting Shorts in new places, because it is testing a Shorts carousel in YouTube's recommended sidebar on the web. For some accounts, YouTube is showing up to three Shorts at a time in the sidebar instead of regular videos, as spotted by Android Police

The feature is far from widely available, and it may be limited to certain accounts in its early stages. Android Central tested YouTube on a few different devices, browsers, and YouTube accounts but hasn't spotted the Shorts carousel yet. In fact, Android Police was only able to spot the carousel on one of its writers' accounts. The expansion of Shorts to YouTube's recommended sidebar could be a small test and nothing more, so you might not ever end up seeing it. 

The new version of YouTube recommended shows one traditional video at the top of the list. Under that is the Shorts carousel, which displays up to three videos at a time. Since Shorts are obviously taller, they take up the space of about two or three horizontal videos. This has the potential to be visually jarring because the Shorts carousel is much larger than the horizontal videos. 

It's easy to ignore the sidebar when it is composed of many smaller videos. Still, when the Shorts carousel is much closer to the size of the currently playing video, that becomes more difficult. Perhaps that is the goal, and YouTube wants users to stop watching the now-playing video in favor of YouTube Shorts.

The new YouTube Shorts carousel on the web.

(Image credit: Android Police)

There doesn't appear to be a way to hide the Shorts carousel as of now. Entering theater mode doesn't completely remove the carousel. Instead, it simply moves it down under the widescreen video player. However, using theater mode does make the Shorts carousel less distracting, for what it's worth. 

A handful of social media companies are racing to win the vertical video space, and competition is fiercer than ever. As a potential TikTok ban takes shape in the U.S., alternatives like YouTube Shorts or Instagram Reels have the chance to snap up market share. 

If you have the new YouTube Shorts carousel, you'll start seeing vertical videos in the recommended sidebar while watching regular YouTube videos. If not, you'll have to wait and see whether this UI element rolls out more widely. 

Brady Snyder

Brady is a tech journalist covering news at Android Central. He has spent the last two years reporting and commenting on all things related to consumer technology for various publications. Brady graduated from St. John's University in 2023 with a bachelor's degree in journalism. When he isn't experimenting with the latest tech, you can find Brady running or watching sports.