Google still reigns as the world’s biggest website. And the company’s web browser remains one of the most preferred web browsers. But recently, Microsoft Edge has been making waves.
Microsoft launched the web browser along with Windows 10. While computer users received Windows 10 positively, they did not pay much attention to Edge. The web browser remained in fourth place in browser popularity for a long time.
But, in 2020, Microsoft Edge surprised the world with the Chromium update. It adapted a Chromium-based architecture, the same framework Google Chrome uses. Microsoft Edge now runs faster because of that change. Furthermore, it now supports Chrome add-ons. The reports also say that Edge uses less RAM than Chrome. Thus, many internet users have moved on from Chrome and switched to Edge.
This event allowed Microsoft Edge to overtake Mozilla Firefox in the popularity ranking. It is also giving Safari a run for its money.
Microsoft Edge is not done yet. The next big thing on the browser is a deeper YouTube integration. Continue reading to learn more about this upcoming feature.
The Followable Web Feature
The latest canary build of Edge has a feature called “followable web.” This feature allows you to follow your favorite content creators on YouTube easily.
Reddit user Leopeva64 was the first one to report it. They spotted a Follow button that appears in the address bar of YouTube pages. If you follow a content creator using that button, you will add them to a feed that’s part of the Collections feature in Edge. You can then visit your Collection’s feed to see if the content creators that you follow have new posts. That means you don’t need to go to the YouTube website itself.
As of now, you can only follow certain YouTubers through this feature.
Microsoft disabled the feature after the Redditor initially spotted it. But the company has begun testing this feature again.
This feature looks similar to an experimental feature from Chrome. But instead of following content creators, Chrome’s feature lets you follow blogs and other content creators. That will inform you when they publish new content.
The “followable web” is still in its early stages. You can expect it to extend to other parts of the web in the future. Chrome has already demonstrated that it is possible to do that with blogs. So Edge will likely also include them in its new feature. Online reports support this idea. They say that “followable web” will let Edge users follow different websites – as the name of the feature implies.
Essentially, this feature is an extension of the RSS feed inside the browsers.
Feature Availability – “Followable Web”
Microsoft is still testing this deeper YouTube integration. That said, it is not yet available to all users. The company is trialing the “followable web” feature with a limited number of Edge Canary testers. That is part of what Microsoft calls “controlled rollouts.”
Unfortunately, you can do nothing if you are already using the feature on the Canary builds of Edge and you don’t see the button. You have to wait just like the others. Though, you may get the feature earlier than the rest who are not using the Canary build of the browser.
Microsoft has not officially posted its detailed plans for the modern RSS feed in Edge. But many reports have been circulating around the internet. Per those reports, you can expect Microsoft to make an official post in the following weeks.
Suppose the “followable web” feature has launched, and it now supports other social media platforms. That will change how people use these platforms.
All things you would want to see will be on one tab. Has your favorite band posted a new Tweet? Is there a new video on your favorite gamer’s YouTube channel? Has your best friend uploaded the pictures of her wedding that you attended? There would be no need to visit the individual platforms. Instead, all you have to do is open the Collections menu in Microsoft Edge.
That could potentially end “doomscrolling” and “doomsurfing.” These terms refer to one’s tendency to scroll through feeds even if all they see is disheartening news.
You cant avoid that without Edge’s and Chrome’s to-be-launched features. If you want to see what your friends are posting, you have to scroll through tweets reeking negativity. Likewise, you will see thumbnails of toxic videos on YouTube while checking your favorite channels. Facebook has reduced the appearance rate of political content on the platform. Still, there are posts that can affect your mood negatively.
That said, the “followable web” could improve internet users’ well-being.
Aside from that, the feature can make people more productive. Again, you don’t have to do non-stop scrolling to find the content you want to see. So, it will reduce the time you spend on your phone or computer. You can use the freed time to do more important and meaningful things.
Perhaps, these changes that the “followable web” will bring will make the world see social media platforms in a better light.
The “followable web” feature is indeed something to look forward to. It will bring lots of improvements and conveniences.
But it is a little too early to celebrate. The feature is still in its testing stage. Depending on the feedback from the people using it, things can change. Microsoft can scrap the project.
That is the worst-case scenario, however. There is a higher possibility that the “followable web” will see the light of day. With this, Edge can have an upper edge over Safari. It may surpass that browser in popularity.
If the “followable web” turns out to be exactly like Google’s feature, it may even rival it. Especially now since more and more people flock to Edge. However, that will still be a tough battle as Google is a formidable competitor.
Hopefully, the testing for this feature will be a success because it will really be handy.
Microsofts Edge Browser RSS Feed Already Testing YouTube Integration
Back in January of 2022, the first video evidence emerged of what was clearly nothing short of built-in integration between the Edge Browser RSS Feed and YouTube. The evidence and scale of these tests only got bigger and more prominent as more people noticed and documented the wonky built-in YouTube suddenly showing up in their RSS feed.
Discovering YouTube Natively in The Discovery Tab
You’ve got to admit this is pretty hilarious. Microsoft and Google, or Alphabet, are truly the two mega-conglomerate of the tech world, and this is the first seamless coordination we’ve ever seen between the two goliaths. What’s the deal with this?
The Good: This coordinated move will absolutely make a serious improvement to the user experience of everyone using Edge and Windows 11, and it poses to make a symbolic gesture of the first step to future coordinated moves in the future. If this is truly only the beginning of the collaboration of the two goliaths, we really can’t imagine what else is possible for the future.
The Bad: This will only add to the total and complete ecosystem control of the tech world that these two companies already maintain, and that will only get bigger. Further, there presents new issues and risks for the companies internally, as it presents new ways to manipulate views, allowing for creative new ways to buy YouTube views legitimately. This will only get taken advantage of by nefarious means of bad actors who will abuse this as humans always love to do.
The Edge Browser Will Allow You to Follow YouTubers Too
Enjoying a good session of doomscrolling YouTube videos isn’t all you can do with this integration, you can also smash their subscribe button! That’s right, there are additional functionalities built-in already, and presumable more coming in the future. This sort of collaboration between Google and Microsoft has been years in the making and reveals why Microsoft switched to mandating individual Live Accounts for their new Windows 11 system.
Theory: YouTube and Social Media Integration is Why Microsoft Mandated Microsoft Live Accounts for Windows 11
As we stated before, corporations with this big plan coordinate move years in advance. The pattern of integration with YouTube is one we can expect to take across all social media, including TikTok and Twitter. This will always start out small, and grow to expand total functionality later on. This is the best reason why Microsoft mandated personalized, verified Live accounts for Windows 11, preventing the bots and manipulation of social media platforms from within their system.