What Is YouTube's Community Tab, And Why Did We Need It SO Much?

15 September 2016, 08:09 | Updated: 17 July 2017, 12:20

We the Unicorns

By Liam Dryden

An exciting new update to YouTube could turn it into the next big social network; but will the Community tab solve every issue YouTubers have with the site?

Any fan who's deep in that YouTube life knows one universal truth: That to stay caught up, you have to be everywhere. Follow on Twitter to find out when the video is live. Add on Snapchat for more realtime updates. Follow Instagram for the pretty selfies. But wouldn't it help if YouTube itself was useful for more than just the videos?

community tab

This is a dilemma that the site has tried and failed to solve for many years; but at last, a fix might be here. The Community tab, an upcoming update to YouTube, will finally bring some more connectivity and community between creators and their audience. The best bit? It's being beta-tested by some of the biggest community organisers on the site; including John and Hank Green of the Vlogbrothers.

What is the Community tab?

Sitting comfortably along the top row of options on a creator's channel, next to tabs such as "Videos" and "Playlists", the new category is a hub for all-new social features on YouTube. "Community" is a space on a YouTuber's channel for them to post announcements, live streams, GIFs and photos - all with a push notification to their subscribers' phones.

community tab vlogbrothers

It's a feed that works much in the same way as many other social platforms do, with the added bonus of being native to the same place where creator's main content (their videos) is uploaded.

Why do we need it?

There are so many other social media sites to keep track of, and so many people using them. Sometimes, important stuff can fall by the wayside. But having one key notification-based service like the Community tab will allow YouTubers to ensure they're engaging with their core audience in a much more direct way.

"We've always had to build homes off YouTube for the non-video community stuff", explains John Green. "YouTube has always though of itself as being about video, but for many of us, it's mostly been about community."

Check out John's announcement vlog for more info on the Community tab.

So as the name suggests, the "Community" tab is all about bringing back a sense of connection between creator and viewer that has been missing on YouTube for so long. Personally, we can't wait to see it develop and make its way to more channels.

If you want to test out the "Community" tab, you can visit the Vlogbrothers' channel for a taster.