A month ago, YouTube started testing out something called video chapters which let creators divide their content into chapters and where viewers can skip to those chapters that they want to view. It looks like the testing period was a success as they are now rolling it out to a wider audience. As long as creators add timestamps to their videos staring at 0:00, viewers will be able to see the chapters and not have to technically scrub through to find the content that they’re looking for.
The chapters feature will make it easier for people to navigate through videos on YouTube, especially the ones that are pretty long but they don’t have the time to watch everything. You can just click on the chapters to jump to the parts that you want to watch, which is easier than scrubbing through the video where you might miss something. You will see the chapters at the bottom of the video and you can just click on the image representing each chapter.
0:00 We heard you and added Video Chapters.
0:30 You liked it.
1:00 Now it’s official: Video Chapters are here to stay.
1:30 Creators, try Chapters by adding timestamps starting at 0:00 to your video description. Viewers, scrub to find exactly what you’re looking for.
2:00 Enjoy! pic.twitter.com/bIHGsGVmyW
— YouTube (@YouTube) May 28, 2020
You will also see the timestamps and the chapter description in the video description. Clicking on the timestamp should also bring you to that particular chapter. This is a good way to not just jump to the chapter you want but also to go back to previous chapters you may have missed. Not all videos though will have the chapter as it is an optional thing and will only appear if the creator will include them.
Engadget shares some tips for creators on how to do this. The chapters will appear when the creator adds timestamps to their videos but they need to start their chapter at 0:00. The video also needs to have at least three time stamps or chapters and each one has to be more than 10 seconds. Other than that, you don’t have to do anything else and YouTube should be able to take care of the rest. The thumbnails in the chapters seem to be automatically generated but maybe later on they will bring a customize thumbnail feature too.
YouTube says video chapters are here to stay. Hopefully more creators will be using this tool, although some may be concerned about completion rate and stuff related to that which will affect their views and the money that they get from views.