Recently, YouTube started trialling what it calls Chapters. These are key points within videos that allow you to separate it up into segments. The best part about it was that it allows YouTubers to start planning for it in advance as it utilises existing techniques that YouTubers have been using for years to help their audience navigate their content.
Essentially it uses timestamp lists in the description of the video in order to generate these chapters which show up when you more over the timeline on the YouTube website or scrub through it in the YouTube mobile app. It’s a handy tool for both creators and viewers. Now, as a result of positive feedback, YouTube says this is now a new permanent feature.
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
Using timestamps in the description of videos has been used for a long time by YouTubers who want to provide easy pointers to different sections of their video. The timestamps are clickable, and when you do click on one it takes you to that point in the video. Now, they also note the start of a chapter. This means that all the existing videos on YouTube that already have timestamps in the description will automatically be split up into chapters now that the new feature is live.
You might have noticed on Caleb Pike’s video that we featured yesterday, if you viewed it from the YouTube website or the YouTube smartphone app, that chapters appeared when you went to mouse over the timeline.
If you’re already using timestamps in the videos you upload to YouTube, then the new chapters will be added automatically to the timeline. And if you’ve been thinking about adding timestamps or you usually put them in the pinned comment instead, you might want to consider starting to use them in the video description.