YouTube Subscriptions are Broken, but RSS Still Works


Carl Colglazier


June 30, 2019

At one point, subscriptions used to be the primary UX point on YouTube. If you got subscribers, you were guaranteed some eyeballs.

This is no longer the case. YouTube now emphasizes its algorithm-based homepage; the subscription page is tucked away behind an extra click that gets far less use. Even worse, a subscription is no longer a guarantee because the feature is constantly broken.

But did you know that you can integrate YouTube into your RSS reader? Here’s how:

  1. Navigate to the YouTube subscription manager.
  2. Scroll down to the bottom of the page.
  3. Click “Export subscriptions”.

This will give you a file that you can import to your RSS reader of choice.

Why do this? The advantage of RSS is you get a nice, linear list of the feeds you care about all in one place. Personally I think this is quite a nice, quiet way to browse the web and it’s how I plan to keep up with YouTube channels at the moment.