YouTube today launches its latest video chapters feature for all laptop, phone, and tablet users. The parts, which started softly at the beginning of April, make it easy to skip exactly where you want to go in a picture, like a novel. It is not science for missiles. It helps me get where I want to go exactly and then it gets out of the way.
On the desktop, a chaptered video will not look all that different from the way videos have always looked. In fact, the biggest change is barely noticeable: there will be little black breaks in the bar used to show video progress to indicate where each chapter ends, and a new one begins. When scrubbing with your mouse over a section, you will then see the chapter title.
The same architecture refers to the workings of chapters on the Android and iOS phone and tablet apps. YouTube had to account for the simple fact that your finger might get in the way of seeing where the chapters are on your phones, though. To solve that, when you arrive at the next line, YouTube’s phone app will cause a haptic buzz. On tablets or other handheld devices where haptic feedback is not available when you take your finger off the screen the video progress bar will immediately snap to the start of a new line. If you want a particular time marker when scrubbing through the frame, hold your finger on the clock, Hold your finger on the button, and then push it below the progress bar without allowing the time marker to be clearly seen.
There is no cap to what chapters’ videos will get or which creators have access to the app. The only catch is that it doesn’t immediately add chapters to any video. But, unlike other ventures Google is launching, this one isn’t (at least not yet) driven by machine learning. This functionality practically relies on the uploader doing the job of adding timestamps (the first one will start at 00:00) and a chapter title to go into the summary of each. Your video will also have at least 3 timestamps, each lasting longer than 10 seconds. The new feature of YouTube will then scrape that metadata to be used for its new interface chapters.
YouTube shared that this feature ‘s origins originated from how-to-style videos posted to the platform — specifically, how challenging it was for certain users to learn how much or little to skip ahead to the next move without getting chapters to direct.
YouTube’s product manager Matt Darby and YouTube’s UX designer Robert Thompson told me that their team was actually visiting homes for people to do research on how they interact with videos. If those two gentlemen came to my home, they would see that I was almost driven mad trying to pinpoint the exact moment in a 20-minute instructional video I needed to see in the process of making sourdough bread. It would have been nice to have chapters and hopefully the video maker would shortly add them.
To those that want to use their keyboard to skip forward in videos, YouTube tells me it’s working on a new series of keyboard shortcuts to make things simpler to power users to jump through pages, but it won’t be ready for launch. YouTube also said it is experimenting to add gestures to mobile navigation between pages, provided that Smartphone displays come in so many different shapes and sizes, even though they will not be accessible at launch yet.
YouTube will be focusing on adding chapters to the content of YouTube Originals, but a YouTube spokesperson told that charging rentals for videos would not include chapters at launch.