Browse YouTube privately with easy-to-use RSS Feeds

We've now made YouTube RSS feeds available just like all of our other feeds, by simply going to any YouTube channel page and adding in front of the URL in your browser bar. For example, the RSS feed for the Mozilla YouTube channel can be found at the URL shown below.

You may know that YouTube already offers RSS feeds. But we've implemented our own alternative version because the RSS feeds YouTube provides have a few key issues.

Finding a YouTube feed isn't easy

Knowing how to find an RSS feed for a YouTube channel can be a challenge. You have to:

  1. First, go to a YouTube channel page.
  2. Right click to inspect the HTML on the page.
  3. Find the channel identifier in the <meta> tag.
  4. Open up a new tab and go to followed by the channel identifier you found in Step 3.

While you can cut down on the number of steps by installing a browser extension that may (or may not) detect YouTube's RSS feeds properly, finding an RSS feed for a website shouldn't require so much effort.

You can even generate a YouTube RSS feed for a user right from the page of a video. Just add in front of the URL while on a video page.

A video showing a youtube video page, being added to the browser bar, and an RSS feed page showing after clicking enter

YouTube tracks what videos you're watching

YouTube injects their embedded video player directly in its RSS feeds so that it can track what videos you're watching. While playing a YouTube video embedded in your feed can be convenient, it can be undesirable for those who would prefer not to be tracked. Having the video player embedded makes it more difficult to open the video in more private apps on mobile devices, like NewPipe, which are perfectly capable of playing YouTube content. Fortunately, the YouTube feeds that Open RSS provides only display the thumbnail of a video. Then, when clicked, the video will automatically open in the app set as your default YouTube application.

Older RSS readers are incompatible

RSS feeds can be generated from two different specifications: First, there was the RSS specification and then, years later, the Atom specification emerged to provide more features to RSS feeds that weren't present in the original RSS specification. While modern RSS reader apps are likely to support both specifications, older RSS Readers can only display feeds adhering to the RSS specification.

Unfortunately, because YouTube feeds are generated according to the Atom specification—and not the official RSS specification—YouTube's feeds are incompatible with older RSS readers. Since Open RSS feeds adhere to the RSS specification first, they're supported by a wider range of RSS reader apps.

Check out this write-up on RSS vs Atom Comparison to learn more about the differences.

No maintenance or support for YouTube feeds

There is no evidence of YouTube implementing any recent updates to its RSS feeds since they became available. In fact, the only thing that seems to have changed about the feeds are their removal from being easily discovered. It's unfortunate, but based on YouTube's lack of support around RSS feeds,we can't be confident that YouTube's RSS feeds will continue to be around in a few years. But as long as YouTube exists, Open RSS will continue to work to ensure YouTube RSS feeds will always be available.

Open RSS is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit headquartered in the District of Columbia, USA and funded only by voluntary donations of its users. If you enjoy using Open RSS, we'd be so grateful if you'd consider donating to help us grow and continue to provide you with a quality and reliable service.