Discovering YouTube


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Discovering YouTube

the youtube icon

What's coming up?

In this activity, you’ll learn about YouTube, a video service run by Google that lets users upload videos to a website for everyone to watch. You’ll find out how to access YouTube on your device, and why you might find it a useful service to use.

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What is YouTube?

YouTube is a website and app that lets you view millions of videos uploaded by other YouTube users.

You can find out more about YouTube in the the All about YouTube activity.

youtube pkaying on a laptop and tablet
smartphone with youtube app on it surrounded by content types

YouTube is more than just amateur movies

Even though anyone can upload any sort of video to YouTube, the service also hosts professional short films, movie trailers, documentaries, classic episodes of old TV shows, clips from old movies, and much more.

YouTube is designed to be a family friendly service, and so adult material is not permitted. However, you may come across material you find offensive, such as clips from violent movies. If you do encounter offensive content, you can report it to YouTube.

How to find content on YouTube

YouTube is a Google service, so it has a powerful search function. You can search by topic, general theme, even by a single word. There’s so much content on YouTube, it’s almost certain to have something that will interest you.

searching for dinner recipes on youtube
the youtube interface

YouTube’s algorithm and recommended content

You can use your Google Account to sign in to YouTube. This will then keep a record of the sorts of content you watch on the service. YouTube’s algorithm will then recommend other things you might be interested in.

a locked padlock

eSafety tip

YouTube is safe to sign into with your Google Account because it is a Google service, run by Google itself. It’s the same as signing in to your Gmail, or any other Google app. Remember to choose a strong password for your Google Account and consider changing your password regularly.

You can learn more about Google apps in the Google cloud apps course.

How to watch YouTube on your mobile device

YouTube is available as a website via your web browser, but also as an app on your mobile device. Android phones usually come with YouTube pre-installed, but you can get it from the Google Play Store too. Apple devices can get the YouTube app from the App Store.

You can also watch YouTube on a compatible smart TV, via that TV’s version of the app. This might be pre-installed, or you can get it from your TV’s app store.

the youtube app on a smartphone and the playstore and app store icons
an ad playing on the youtube app

Ads on YouTube

YouTube is an ad-supported service. When you select a video to watch, an ad will play at the beginning. You can usually skip this ad after a few seconds. Longer videos will include an ad every ten minutes or so.

How to remove ads from YouTube

You can subscribe to the YouTube Premium service for a monthly fee. This removes all ads from videos and includes a free subscription to the YouTube Music streaming service too.

If you subscribe to a family sharing plan, you can nominate up to five other family members who will also get ad-free YouTube.

youtube premium and youtube music

Well done!

This is the end of the Discovering YouTube activity. You’ve learned about what you can watch on YouTube, how to get recommendations and remove ads.

If you’re a registered user, you can now complete a short quiz to test your learning. If you’re not registered, this is now the end of the Catch-up TV, YouTube and streaming apps course.

youtube app on a smartphone