On every YouTube video page there are two tabs below the video:

enter image description here

  • "About" contains an author-generated description, the category and license information.
  • "Share" offers sharing functionality for various third party services, the code to embed the video, and a widget to send the link per email.

(Note that "Add to" breaks with consistency, as it’s not a tab, but some kind of pop-up.)

By default the "About" tab is selected. But as soon as the video is finished playing, it automatically switches to the "Share" tab.

I wonder if this is a good solution or an anti-pattern?

Personally, this bugs me. I tend to read the description while the video runs, and often enough I’m not finished reading when the video is finished (or I started reading the description shortly before the video ends), and woosh, the description goes away and I get pushed to share the video.

What would be other, better ways to solve this?

  • I think they should place the share functionality together with the related videos that are displayed when the video ends if they wanted to draw attention to it.
    – mgpugne
    Commented Jul 29, 2013 at 15:30
  • i very much dont like this. not only is it a problem if you are reading the "about" section but also if you are getting ready do a search it moves the cursor to the share field. very disappointed in this update.
    – user34423
    Commented Aug 9, 2013 at 12:08
  • 1
    I absolutely loathe this, as the URL input in the Share tab steals focus when it appears, rendering my keyboard suddenly and unexpectedly useless for navigation. I've been on Youtube less often than usual because of it.
    – Izkata
    Commented Aug 10, 2013 at 3:27
  • I think that it is an improvement in encouraging viewers to share but can see how navigating without the audience taking an action could have a negative effect on UX. Does anyone know if this is a premium service? Anyone have documentation?
    – user34539
    Commented Aug 13, 2013 at 16:45
  • Clicking on Like or Share should be sufficient, auto share is wearing me down.
    – user34541
    Commented Aug 13, 2013 at 17:24

5 Answers 5


If users want to share your content they will share the content. Trying to force their behavior works against you. Making them view the button isn't going to increase the quality of the content. Anti-pattern indeed.


I'm not from Google, so I can only suppose they push users to share videos. And providing the share link is the step, which is made for you to make sharing more easy. Check, didn't they put the link to clipboard?

This suggestion on Google efforts of sharing is confirmed by the bunch of social networks sharing buttons inside this tab.
enter image description here

Watching videos on Youtube brings money, so a bit agressive sharing policy is understandable from this point.

I wonder if this is a good solution or an anti-pattern?

We live in no ideal world, there are not only cute kittens on the Internet, somebody makes money here. Probably I surprise you, but UX efforts based not only on altruism, business part is prevailing here. Most businesses take care of customers because they have money. It's human's nature. And UX takes part in this outrage ).

  • Today's web stands in sharing of information and videos with funny cats. Sharing of interesting information is a natural demand of people that helps to develop our civilization. Commented Aug 13, 2013 at 17:17
  • I think it's easy to forget that UX is not always the top priority. Big sites like Youtube can afford to annoy a small percentage of users if it results in a net gain in traffic. Commented Dec 26, 2013 at 18:31
  • 1
    @BrianOrtiz, thank you! Indeed, sharing –> traffic –> advertizing –> money. UX has business stackeholders as integral part, too. Commented Dec 26, 2013 at 19:01

It's generally a bad idea to change content without the user taking some action to trigger the change because it can lead to confusion.

That said, the more your site/app is used/recognized/loved, the more you can get away with.

I do agree with mgpugne that placing the share links with the related videos might be more effective -- from both a UX and conversion rate optimization perspective.


I think there is value in hinting/guiding the user that she can share the video.. but I agree it should not replace the about section.

The only space that changes whent he video ends is the video space itself. The next steps should be displayed in that space. One could also extend that space to guide the user to sharing options.

This could be just link/button saying share this video ... or could bring up specific sharing options.


I'd imagine it's a solution they came up with for people not sharing their videos enough. Although it could be done a lot better. Personally I think it'd be better for user experience to draw attention to that tab, be it by highlighting it or making it bold after the video is done, instead of switching to it automatically.

It bugs me too though. Their solution doesn't seem to make the user experience very good.

  • 3
    What bugs me more is that I tend to like+fav something. That's gotten worse now because when you hit like, it automatically goes to "share". It's on the top of my list of most annoying things that I keep running in to. Their slower loading times haven't helped much either.
    – Dirk v B
    Commented Jul 29, 2013 at 6:59

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