YouTube today is rolling out a new feature designed to help users identify the most popular parts of a video they’re watching, along with other changes to its video player. The company says it’s adding a chart that people can use to easily locate and view the most-watched parts of a video, something that could be particularly useful for longer videos or those that haven’t broken down their various sections using timestamps or video chapters. .
The feature was previously available as an experiment accessible to YouTube Premium subscribers from YouTube.com/New, but will now be available to all free and premium YouTube users on desktop, iOS and Android platforms.
While creators often segment their longer videos into chapters or link to selected parts via timestamps, the new chart aims to make it possible for users to skim through any YouTube video to quickly find the most interesting parts. These segments may or may not always be correlated to chapter locations or timestamps, particularly in the event that certain video segments go viral, for example.
Additionally, the feature could help users target more of the useful parts of tutorial videos, or the segment that has the most action, such as the most watched part of a gamer’s video.
YouTube viewers will now be able to see this subtle gray graphic while scrolling through the video using the red playback progress bar. If the graph is high, that part of the video has been played frequently, says YouTube. The video thumbnail that appears will also indicate when you reached the “Most Played” segment.
Along with this release, YouTube is also rolling out support for video chapters, the segmentation tool first released in May 2020, for smart TVs and game consoles. Chapters allow users to skip ahead to a particular section of a video or easily rewatch that section. Since its launch, YouTube has made it possible for chapters to be automatically generated and notes have been added to some 20 million videos to date.
Another recently added feature called Single Loop will now allow users to put an individual video on an endless loop. To access this feature, you’ll select the option from the same menu where you can adjust the video quality, turn on subtitles, and more.
Also, in full screen mode, a new panel will now appear to display information about the video, such as the video description, video chapters, and comments. Users will be able to access quick action buttons here to like, dislike, comment, share or add a video to a playlist directly from full screen mode.
Finally, YouTube teased that another new experiment will start “soon” that will allow users to search for the exact moment in a video they want to watch. This will also be available first to Premium subscribers through the YouTube.com/New website, she says.