Nearly every day when I get home from work, there’s one feature on YouTube I’ll regularly check out.
It’s called the YouTube Trends Map.
Not only does it show you the top trending videos across the site, but it also shows you what videos are being watched the most in different parts of the country.
You can see what videos people are watching on YouTube across the country according to age group and sex, and you can organise videos by most views or shares. It’s a pretty handy tool if you want to spot a video before it starts going super viral or to find a fun video to wind down after a long day.
So I was incredibly bummed when I noticed late last week that YouTube would be phasing out Trends Map.
It’s a bit of a perplexing decision. Trends Map was first introduced in 2013 and works as an effective way to see how a video travels through the web across gender and age groups.
As a data junkie, I found it fascinating to see whether people in California were watching different videos than those in New York and the center of the country.
Over time, I noticed young male teens are often obsessed with Pewdiepie‘s gaming videos while teenage girls are more likely to be watching a new music video. I watched as viral videos would start off being shared across the younger age groups and sometimes wouldn’t make their way to the older demographics until several days later.
Now that Trends Map is practically gone, YouTube has suggested I head over to its “trending” page, but it’s not the same.
All this shows me is a feed of “trending” videos. Nothing on the trending page is broken down by age group or gender. It’s just a giant scrolling feed of videos. I’ll be less likely to head here every day. Though it’s slightly helpful, it’s a lot less organised. It’s just one large video feed.
Maybe that’s the point. Maybe Google and YouTube want to keep this data internal.
But until Trends Map is gone, you should check it out at least once. It will probably blow your mind and you may find something enjoyable to view you wouldn’t have otherwise.
Tech Insider has reached out to YouTube about why it’s phasing out the Trends Map.