While YouTube is primarily a video platform, a lot of people actually use it as a search engine. In fact, it’s the second most popular search engine in the world, next only to its parent company Google. So it’s logical that they will improve some of the search functions on the platform. They are rolling out two new features now that should make it easier to find what videos you are actually looking for. You will now have a more visual search and you can even discover videos in other languages if you can’t find one that’s in your own.
When you search for videos on YouTube, you sometimes want to learn more about the results without having to click on each one of them. Yes, you see a thumbnail but sometimes that’s not enough to make a decision whether or not to click on it. On the desktop, you can hover and see a brief clip. Now this will be extended to the mobile app as well as you’ll see previews of the videos on the results page. Even better, you can see the chapters available in the video and even go directly to the part that you want to see.
YouTube will also start showing search results from other languages if the results are not enough for your local language. The videos will have automatically translated captions, titles, and descriptions. However for now, it will just be available for English videos but they plan to expand to more languages. The idea is for someone in Thailand to learn about quantum physics from a professor in MIT but in their own language through captions.
They’re also testing out a new feature that would include website links and other formats in the search results to complement the video ones. They’re currently experimenting with it in India and Indonesia but only on mobile devices. Depending on user feedback, they plan to expand the test to more countries. It might seem counterintuitive to having web links on a video platform but since it will be from Google Search anyway, it’s still a win for Google.
If you’re one of those that use YouTube as a search engine, these new features would be pretty useful. From learning to cook something to learning more about a niche subject, you should be able to find what you need if it’s videos you’re looking for.