YouTube adds a Personal Story shelf to health topic searches

Google and TikTok aren’t the only places people look for information on health issues. YouTube is another resource people look to for educating themselves on health-related topics. Now, YouTube has launched a new feature in an attempt to further support those queries in a different way.

On Wednesday, the video-sharing website announced its latest feature via a blog post. Known as a Personal Stories shelf, the new search-related feature will yield a “shelf” of personal story videos about the health topics users search for. Essentially, if you search for a health topic, a Personal Stories shelf may appear in your search results and it will be populated with YouTube videos that feature personal stories about people who have experienced the health issue you searched for.

YouTube adds a Personal Story shelf to health topic searches

In the announcement, YouTube indicated that, as much as there seems to be a need for information when it comes to health, that its users also seemed to be looking for “connection and belonging” — and that latter desire seems to be part of the reasoning behind creating the Personal Stories shelf.

In terms of the kinds of videos that will be allowed to be featured on the Personal Stories shelf, YouTube did offer some insight:

“To be eligible for the shelf, videos must primarily focus on a personal, authentic lived experience that is relevant to a specific physical or mental health condition. Content that is promotional in nature is not eligible for this feature, and all videos that appear in this feature must comply with our policies that prevent the spread of health misinformation.”

The rollout of the Personal Stories shelf is set to begin this week and is expected to focus on “queries related to cancer, and mental health topics like anxiety and depression” for now. YouTube did note that it plans to expand the coverage of topics “over the coming months.” At this time, the feature is only accessible by users in the U.S. and the only language supported is English, according to a YouTube Help article on the matter.

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