A guide to using YouTube

A guide to using YouTube

What is YouTube?

YouTube is a free video-sharing platform whereby creators upload videos for users to view. Anyone can be either, or both, a creator, and a viewer. All you need is a Google account. The platform is home to all types of content, and with 1.7 billion monthly users, it’s safe to say YouTube is popular!

Through your Google account, you can follow video content creators, watch their videos, like & comment on, or save videos. Plus create and post your-own content. Like other TV streaming services, YouTube will begin to learn the genres you enjoy, and the algorithm will start to suggest videos specifically for you. For example, if you love to watch cooking videos, expect to see cooking videos appearing on your ‘recommended’ page.

How do I use it?

Using this platform is relatively simple and can be accessed through the YouTube app on mobile devices, on smart TVs, and on your desktop or laptop through your internet browser. The good news is YouTube is straightforward to navigate.

When you first open YouTube (in this example, on a desktop) you will be greeted with the YouTube homepage. From here, you can choose to watch videos without logging in. However, we do recommend signing in, this way, you can save videos you may wish to refer to later.

In the top-right corner of the home page, you will see a “sign in” button. From here, you can sign in with your Google account, or create one if you don’t have one.

Once you are signed in, you’re ready to go! You can either browse through popular videos that will appear on the home page, or search for a certain topic. There are also topic suggestions up the top of the page where you can browse through videos in “trending” topics.

One of the great things about YouTube is its auto play function. Once you click on a video and start watching it, another video of a similar genre or topic will auto play after the last one has ended. This is handy when you aren’t sure what to watch next. YouTube will also recommend other videos related to the one you have just watched; you’ll see these grouped and shown underneath the video that is playing.

What can I watch?

If there is a particular genre you’re interested in, chances are you’ll find it on YouTube. Below are our recommendations of some of the more popular topics on YouTube.

Cooking videos 

Cooking tutorials are a fantastic way to learn a new recipe, allowing you to follow the cook on screen, step-by-step. Both novice and professional cooks share their video content on YouTube. This gives you a great variety of recipes and skill levels to follow. Even if you aren’t thinking about attempting to recreate their recipe, it can be extremely entertaining to watch professionals whilst they’re in their zone!


YouTube is a remarkable resource when you intend to listen to music. Paid music services are now common, so having a free option is convenient for those who don’t want to pay for a streaming service. Musicians and artists upload their official music and music videos to YouTube. You can view these by searching for the artist, or the song title. Many creators on YouTube also have channels dedicated to making a range of playlists. If you’re ever wanting background music while you clean, cook, or have friends over, these are the ones for you. Simply search a genre of music that you are after, and you will find hundreds of playlists.


Nowadays, not everybody has a TV. Streaming platforms such as Netflix have taken centre stage, and the popularity of free-to-air TV is no more. If you don’t have access to a television, you can watch the news on YouTube. Almost every news network has a YouTube channel where they post the latest snippets of news. Some channels, such as ABC News, also livestream. This means that whatever is showing on mainstream TV, is also showing on YouTube.

One of the greatest aspects of accessing news content on YouTube is the ability to utilise the search function. If there is a certain story or topic you are interested in, you can simply search it. No more watching the entire news program on the TV waiting for a particular story to be covered, how handy is that?

Overall, we highly recommend giving YouTube a go. Once you get the hang of it, you won’t look back. From entertainment, to education, to streaming, any topic of video you could possibly need is on YouTube.


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