[Update: Official] YouTube tests video chapters to help you jump forward to specific parts

[Update: Official] YouTube tests video chapters to help you jump forward to specific parts

Update (5/28/20 @ 5:00 PM ET): YouTube video chapters for timestamps are now official.

YouTube videos are available in a variety of lengths, starting from 30-second short videos and going all the way up to 12 hours, even though you can even find much longer videos from the past. While watching long content like tutorials, it is common to skip forward to the intended time. So to help with that, YouTube is adding new functionality in the form of “video chapters” that lets you can skip forward or rewind to any specific part of the video without having to drag the scrubber.

Video chapters on YouTube are based on the timestamps for different parts of the video as mentioned in the description. For instance, a video with an entire album or a live concert can have timestamps for different songs. So, with video chapters, users will be able to jump to different tracks through the entire video by clicking or tapping on the different parts of the scrubber. When you just hover the mouse pointer above any section or chapter, you will see the title which is also fetched from the video description along with your current progress in the section.

youtube video chapters

Image by Android Police

Android Police confirms that as of now, chapters are solely based on description time stamps and YouTube will not add chapters automatically. However, we can expect Google to infuse some of its machine learning prowess to slice the videos into chapters.

YouTube’s video chapters are already available to some users on the web player interface. Some others also reported having received the feature in the Android app and the same has been confirmed by Google to be a “test.” The feature is said to be available on certain videos on the web as well as Android and iOS apps. If you’re a creator and want to opt out, make sure the first timestamp in your video description is anything but 0:00.

Don’t worry if the feature is not available to you since it is still under evaluation by the YouTube team. It appears to be rolling out to a small group of users and we’ll let you know when it reaches a wider userbase.

Thanks to Twitter user @QueBottler for the screenshots.


Update: Official

YouTube’s new “Video Chapters” feature is now official. If a video has timestamps in the description, the Video Chapters are shown on the progress bar, making it easy to scrub and find a section. YouTube was apparently just testing this feature before, but it’s now here to stay since so many people are enjoying it.