YouTube tests auto-generation of video chapters

YouTube video chapters

In a new experiment by YouTube, they are working on a feature that would automatically add video chapters without the need for creators to manually add timestamps.

YouTube video chapters segregate a video into parts, each with an individual preview, giving info and context to the viewer and allowing them to navigate through the video easily and rewatch certain parts of the video.

The feature was launched a few months ago and was recently updated, with the newer version displaying a list that shows all chapters of the video, including a preview thumbnail.

The latest experiment on video chapters uses machine learning to recognize text in order to auto-generate video chapters. For instance, if a video shows ‘Chapter 2’ at a point to progress into another part, YouTube will detect the timestamp, and automatically break up the video.

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The feature is being tested with a small group of creators, if a creator is a part of the test, they can opt out of it or share feedback with YouTube.

To add chapters to a video:

  • Sign in to YouTube
  • Go to the video you want to edit
  • Select EDIT VIDEO under the video
  • In the “Description” box of the “Add details” page, add a list of timestamps and titles
  • To opt into video chapters, make sure that the first timestamp starts with 00:00. Your video should have at least three timestamps listed in ascending order. The minimum length for video chapters is 10 seconds

Furthermore, YouTube is also testing an option to add a video timestamp tied to the exact moment being watched, when commenting on a video.

Users who are a part of the experiment will see a new icon as they’re writing a comment that they can tap to automatically add the current time of the video (without having to manually enter it themselves). The feature is only available to a small group of users presently.


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