YouTube is testing out a nifty new formatting feature that seeks to make lengthy videos easier to navigate.
While creators (and commenters) can already post timestamps in their video description boxes — and in the comments section — that automatically drive viewers to different moment in a video, YouTube is reportedly testing out a riff on this concept called Chapters, reports Android Police. In its support forums, YouTube confirmed that it is testing Chapters on “a small selection of videos across Android, iOS, and desktop while we gather feedback.”
Android Police reports that Chapters are starting to show up for some viewers on some channels, and are generated based on creator-provided timestamps; if creators do not provide timestamps in their video description boxes, YouTube is unable to derive its own.
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Chapters are slightly different than timestamps in that they result in different separations along the scrubbing timeline, and hovering over one on reveals the name of that Chapter, per Android Police. Again, Chapter names are taken from those provided by creators in their description boxes. You can check out how the Chapters feature looks in action, courtesy of audio gear review channel Podcastage, below:
If a creator happens to be part of the Chapters test and wants to opt out, YouTube says they can adjust the first timestamp in their description boxes from 0:00 to 0:01.
This is HUGE for YouTube! Look at the timeline!!! It takes the timestamps from my description and essentially turned them into chapter markers for the video! It shows the title of the section and how much you’ve completed! AMAAZING! pic.twitter.com/gEG5fYvoot
— Podcastage (@podcastage) April 12, 2020