YouTube introduces Video Chapters to make it easier to navigate longer videos – ProWellTech
If you’ve ever found yourself browsing through a long YouTube video to get to the “good” part, you’ll appreciate the new feature that YouTube is launching today: Video Chapters. The feature uses the timestamps that creators apply to their videos, allowing viewers to easily navigate to a specific section of the video or review a portion of the video.
YouTube was seen testing video chapters in April, but today the feature is active for all users on iOS, Android and desktop.
Video chapters will automatically be triggered as a row of timestamps and titles when creators add chapter information to their video description. The first timestamp must be marked with 0:00, followed by a space, then the title of the chapter. On the next line, you will need to type the timestamp where the next chapter begins (eg “2:31”), then a space and the title of that chapter. When you’re done adding chapters, save your changes and the video chapters will be listed as you scroll through the video.
To use the feature, videos must have at least three timestamps of at least 10 seconds or more.
To make it easier for viewers to navigate the Video Chapters, YouTube has incorporated tactile feedback on mobile devices so that users experience a slight “splash” that informs them that they are entering a new chapter, the company explains. On platforms where tactile feedback isn’t available, YouTube uses “snap” behavior that will trigger you at the beginning of the chapter. In this way, viewers who want to land at a specific point near the beginning of the chapter can wait a moment before releasing so that they are not taken at the beginning of the chapter.
Additionally, users on mobile and tablet devices can also slide their finger up and down while rubbing, without releasing it, to reveal the scroll bar and see exactly where they are placing the head.
YouTube claimed that the feature got a lot of positive feedback during the tests, but slightly modified the product based on its previous experimentation.
For example, YouTube has since increased the number of chapters supported on all devices after realizing that it was helpful to allow devices to determine how many chapters can be viewed, based on the space available on the screen. This means that in a video with many chapters, you may see more on the desktop than on mobile devices and more appear when you are full screen on your phone than when you are viewing the video in the smaller portrait player.
Since the feature requires the creator to insert timestamps, you may not see it yet on all videos. But there are a few you can visit now if you want to see video chapters in action, including this one Flaming Lips concert, This Radiohead concert, This Spotlight channel interview with the creators, This guitar tutorial, This cooking video, This video recipe and this lesson on machine learning.
The new feature positions YouTube as a better resource for long-lasting content as it becomes less complicated to browse videos. The feature may even increase user engagement with some videos as viewers won’t be frustrated with having to scroll through the parts they don’t want to watch, give up, then exit the video in search of another that is easier to navigate. On the flip side, it may reduce total viewing times, as viewers are only watching certain sections of video rather than the entire content of the video.
YouTube says the new feature will have no impact on recommendations.