YouTube is testing a new 'Video Chapters' option
YouTube is testing a new 'Video Chapters' option that would display creator-submitted descriptions of relevant sections of their videos within the playback timeline along the bottom of the video post.
As you can see here, the playback timeline is sectioned into variable chapter lengths, which, when highlighted, expand the specific timeline section and provide a description of what that segment is about.
As explained by YouTube Creator Insider host Tom Leung:
"It helps viewers with more context and information associated with a particular time in your video - it's basically making time stamps a little bit more official. [Video chapters] utilize the time stamp data that you publish in your description, and are completely opt-in."
YouTube has enabled users to timestamp markers in videos for some time, while you can also link to specific sections of a YouTube clip when sharing, but this new variation would provide more specific info on what's actually included in each segment, making it easier for viewers to skip through and find what they're after in longer clips.
It could also, eventually, become an SEO consideration. Google, which owns YouTube, often prioritizes YouTube videos in search results, and with more specific data on what, exactly, is in a video clip at each specific point in the playback, it could provide even more relevant search matches for queries.
YouTube is currently testing the new Video Chapters on Android and desktop, with no further information on a wider rollout at this stage.
In other news, YouTube is also testing a new option which would highlight comments from channel members on YouTube clips, though this is in very early testing at the moment.