Jun 19, 2020

YouTube Chapters Is A Great New Feature

YouTube started testing Chapters earlier in 2020 and on the 28th of May YouTube confirmed Chapters are here to stay and available to all who upload videos to the platform. I missed the announcement and found Chapters in a video last week, which led me to investigate further.
Chapters is a fantastic new feature that will benefit both content creators and viewers, by allowing people to jump ahead to parts in the video straight from the timeline. This feature will likely be best suited to longer videos for things like recipes, tutorials, news, travel or documentary videos.

Applying Chapters to your videos is easy, all you have to do is add timestamps to the video description, starting at 0:00, each chapter should be 10 seconds long (9 seconds worked for me) and you should have atleast three chapters listed in ascending order.

Here is what YouTube Chapters looks like and how to apply them:

YouTube Chapters - standard timeline

YouTube Chapters - timestamps in description
This is fully customisable

YouTube Chapters - implemented

YouTube Chapters - further along the timeline

YouTube Chapters - mobile search result

When I searched on mobile for YouTube chapters, they seem to be indexed on the Google results page and allow people to deep-link into a chapter of the video straight from the search result page. The timestamps become links in the video description once saved. This makes me think that Chapters might be used as a ranking signal in the near future - we all know how mobile usage and video consumption is increasing year-on-year, so I predict Chapters may play a role in video Search Engine Optimisation. I love the feature, although I find it a bit strange that Chapters doesn't seem to work when videos are embedded off YouTube. 

See it in action on my How To Make Pineapple Beer or Five Royal Caribbean Cruises videos.