For the past few weeks, you may have noticed something new on videos from some of your favorite YouTubers. 

If you hovered over the timeline of certain YouTuber’s videos, you’d see the timeline was split up into sections. If you hovered over a section, a brief description of what was contained in that timeframe would come up. Pretty nifty if you were looking for a specific topic of discussion within a longer video.

An example of Video Chapters in action on a YouTube video.

An example of Video Chapters in action on a YouTube video.

Image: YouTube

Today, YouTube announced that it was rolling out the Video Chapters feature platform-wide on desktop, Android, and iOS devices  for creators.

The feature is completely optional and quite easy to enable. Creators simply need to list at least three timestamps they want broken up into specific chapters in the description of their video in chunks of at least 10 seconds long starting with 0:00. The video creator can then insert next to each timecode in the description the title chapter they’d like to appear.

If a creator doesn’t want to enable Video Chapters but still wants to mention specific time codes in their video, they just need to start with any timecode other than 0:00 in their description.

YouTube says the feature has already received rave reviews from the creators who were testing it out. The video service provided some examples as to how it can be helpful such as finding a specific part in a song or breaking up a multi-topic video.

It’s a rather simple feature but it could really change up how creators make videos and how viewers consume them. Splitting up a multiple topic longform video or podcast into chapters could alter viewing habits if someone is just able to jump to the part that interests them with ease. At the same time, it makes re-watching certain parts of a video simpler too. It also seems like a feature that’s ripe for use cases that find more creative ways to use Video Chapters than to simply split up parts of a video. 

While many of the creators who had been testing the feature out seem to enjoy Video Chapters, it remains to be seen how widespread the use of it will be.

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