Google is rolling out chapters to YouTube to make it easier to navigate videos

YouTube on TV

Jumping to specific parts of a video on YouTube can be a pain, but Google is taking steps to make things easier.

DVD/Blu-ray-style chapters are being rolled out, making it quicker and simpler to skip straight to the section you're interested in seeing. But while this is a feature that will be welcomed by many YouTube users who are tired of sitting through pointless introductory waffle before the meat of a video, the use of chapters is dependant on the creator of the video.


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Rather than trying to automatically divide a video up into sections -- which is probably a sensible move, really -- chapters are instead generated based on the timestamps specified by a video creator. If there are no timestamps, there will be no chapters.

Google references chapters in an update to its YouTube support page about test features and experiments on the platform:

[April 10 2020] Testing new video chapters on mobile: to help you more easily navigate videos, we're testing out video chapters, which allow you to jump forward to a specific section of the video, rewatch a portion of the video, and more. Chapters appear at the bottom of the video player and use timestamps from the creator's video description. The feature will appear on a small selection of videos across Android, iOS and desktop while we gather feedback.

Note for Creators: if you're in the experiment and wish to opt out, please adjust the first timestamp in your video description to be something other than 0:00 for example, just change it to be "0:01."

As noted by Android Police, this video from Podcastage is a great example pf chapters in action, with host Bandrew Scott having timestamped his video beautifully:

Image credit: Vantage_DS / Shutterstock

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