YouTube, one of the largest search engines on earth, introduced several new search features today in a blog post entitled “the next phase for searching on YouTube” in a bid to make its vast trove of content easier to parse through and more accessible to everyone.
First, YouTube will begin to display video ‘Chapters’ directly on search pages. (Chapters are sections of videos that can be navigated along the scrubbing timeline — and which are triggered when creators leave timestamps in description boxes). Now, in place of a traditional video thumbnail, multiple time-stamped images will be available to choose from within a drop down menu. If viewers expand the menu, they will be able to navigate directly to a specific Chapter.
“Let’s say you’re looking for a good sourdough recipe and want to work on your kneading technique,” explains director of product management Pablo Paniagua. “With these new search results, you can see all the steps in the video, from feeding the starter to pulling the bread out of the oven — and skip right to the chapter on kneading.”
Additionally, as it does on desktop, videos without Chapters on mobile will begin to play snippets on the search page while users scroll through results.
In terms of accessibility, YouTube says that when relevant content in a local language isn’t available, it will show results from other languages with automatically translated captions, titles, and descriptions. The platform will start to supplement search results with English videos, it says, with plans to expand to more languages in the future.
And in India and Indonesia, YouTube is experimenting with a new feature that will bring elements from Google Search — including website links and other formats — directly into YouTube.