New YouTube ‘Video Chapters’ builds upon timestamp bookmarks

YouTube extended its timestamp bookmarks feature to enable Video Chapters for videos. The chapters are displayed on videos as individual clips, making it easier for viewers to identify and jump to different segments.

In June 2019, YouTube started testing timestamp jump links for its search engine. Three months later, Google announced it would be including YouTube timestamp bookmarks as Video Segments in Google Search.

Timestamp bookmarks are created by adding timestamps and short descriptive text to the video description. When the changes are saved, YouTube automatically converts them into timestamp jump links.

Timestamp Links
The two ways to format timestamp links in YouTube descriptions

On May 28, 2020, Google announced the debut of Video Chapters. Video Chapters build upon timestamp bookmarks by visually incorporating them into the video.

YouTube Video Chapters
Video Chapters are created by timestamp bookmarks

To extend timestamp bookmarks for use as Video Chapters, the following criteria must be met.

  1. The timestamp list must start with 00:00
  2. There must be at least three timestamps listed in ascending order
  3. The minimum length for a video chapter is 10 seconds

There are a few key benefits of using Video Chapters. The first benefit is that it utilizes timestamp bookmarks, which means videos can improve exposure on YouTube and Google Search results if they weren’t using them before. Second, it helps viewers find clips faster, which is a better user experience. Lastly, building off the second benefit makes it easier for viewers to share clips and drive more traffic to videos.

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Jon is the founder and Managing Editor of Coywolf. He has over 25 years of experience in web development, SaaS, internet strategy, digital marketing, and entrepreneurship. Follow @henshaw