With 70% of videos we watch on YouTube coming from the platform's algorithmic recommendations, it's easy for us to fall into our own recommendation bubbles and forget that not everyone's YouTube homepage looks the same.
To showcase just how different people's YouTube front pages can be, designer and developer Tomo Kihara created TheirTube, a web service that allows people to peek into what other YouTube pages might look like from six different perspectives: conspiracists, fruitarians, liberals, conservatives, doomsday preppers and climate deniers.
As you'll see below, the YouTube homepage for a person with liberal views is in many ways different from a person who believes in conspiracy theories — though interestingly, one video appears in the recommendations for both: "The exact moment Shane Dawson's career ended," a video about Dawson, a YouTuber who has recently seen his subscriber numbers plummet after old clips of him posting offensive content resurfaced.
You can also see YouTube homepages from other perspectives:
According to Kihara, these YouTube pages were created with the watch history of real YouTube users:
Each of these TheirTube personas is informed by interviews with real YouTube users who experienced similar recommendation bubbles. Six YouTube accounts were created in order to simulate the interviewees' experiences. These accounts subscribe to the channels that the interviewees followed, and watches videos from these channels to reproduce a similar viewing history and a recommendation bubble.
And if you're really curious about the viewing history of each hypothetical YouTube user, you can also look at the watch histories of the fruitarian, the prepper, the liberal, the conservative, the conspiracy theorist and the climate denier to gain a bigger picture of the video consumption habits of each persona and how that informs their bubble of viewing.