YouTube Assessments New Timed Feedback in Video Playback to Present Extra Context and Maximize Engagement


YouTube is testing a new option for displaying comments, which will display comments from viewers at specific, timed points within the playback. This could provide more context about their intent and meaning while highlighting where the best conversation is about each clip.

As you can see in this example shared by Android Police, the new timed commentary display shows viewer comments at the point they were created during the clip.

As explained by YouTube:

“”We’re currently testing a new feature that will allow you to view comments that are precisely tailored to the time you are watching them in a video. This experiment is available for some videos for some videos from a small group of people, and we will consider rolling it out more broadly based on feedback. “

Therefore, not everyone can access the option yet.

To see if you belong to the test group, go to the comments section in the YouTube app (on iOS or Android) and tap the “Sort” button in the lower right corner of the playback window. If you have access, a Timed Beta option will appear in the list.

YouTube timed comments

As Android Police notes, it’s very similar to the old SoundCloud-type commentary ad that allows listeners to share their enthusiasm for specific elements of each track.

Will that lead to more engagement with YouTube clips?

It’s hard to say, but it’s certainly an interesting option that could have value for the inspirational demeanor and engagement of the audience. It could also give more insight into which viewers your video clips are most engaging with.

In a separate test, YouTube recently started to publish new tips on digital literacy in the form of skippable 15-second ads that appear before selected clips.

The process is designed to address growing digital literacy concerns and the sharing of fake reports, with the effects of misinformation creating significant divisions and fears. This was particularly common with the introduction of the COVID-19 vaccine, as misinformation about vaccines is often spread on social networks.

According to YouTube, the test is conducted on a small group of users in the US while the tips are displayed at random, with the content of the video they received previously unrelated to their ranking.

YouTube will evaluate the results in order to decide on a possible extension of the prompts.

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