YouTube tests a ‘play something’ button for when you don’t know what to watch

YouTube appears to be testing a new “play something” button on its mobile app that directs you to a random video when you don’t know what to watch. As first spotted by Android Police, the prompt shows up between content as you scroll through the feed on your homepage — but only some users are seeing it.

While Android Police mentions that the button only directs users to YouTube Shorts, one of my colleagues here at The Verge found that the feature also shows them random full-length videos. It’s still not clear if YouTube takes your watch history into account when picking the random videos it plays or how widely Google is rolling out this feature. The Verge reached out to Google for more information, and we’ll update this article if we hear back.

Screenshot by Barbara Krasnoff / The Verge

It seems like YouTube has been working on this button for quite some time, as Android Police notes it was spotted by a user on Reddit in May. Netflix also has a similarly named “Play Something” button it rolled out in 2021, which surfaces random shows and movies that you’ve never watched before. This feature has saved me plenty of times from scrolling endlessly through Netflix’s library, and it seems like YouTube’s might do the same.

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