After testing them out with selected users over the last month, YouTube is now officially launching its new chapters segmentation display for video clips.
0:00 Get excited…— YouTube Creators (@ytcreators) May 28, 2020
1:00 The Video Chapters feature is officially here!
1:30 When Chapters are enabled, viewers watch more of the video, and come back more often on average.
2:30 Test chapters on your own videos by adding a set of timestamps starting at 0:00 to the description. pic.twitter.com/FIFLbLImaj
As you can see here, with chapters, the video playback timeline is sectioned into variable chapter lengths, which, when highlighted, expand the specific timeline section and provide a description of what that segment is about.
YouTube made chapters available in an opt-in capacity earlier in the month, and now, they're available to everyone who uploads a video, and can be added simply by listing the right time-stamp details in your video description.
As explained by YouTube Creator Insider host Tom Leung:
"If you have timestamps in your description, make sure that the first timestamp listed in the video description starts at 0:00, and that your video has at least three timestamps or chapters, with each chapter being 10 seconds or longer."
If you don't want chapter segmentation, but you do want timestamps listed in your description, you simply changing the first timestamp in your video description to something other than 0:00. YouTube's system will only recognize chapter time stamps for videos which have 0:00 as the first point.
YouTube has also made some final tweaks to the chapter format ahead of the full release.
As noted by TechCrunch, YouTube has built in haptic feedback on mobile - "so users will feel a slight “thump” that informs them they’re moving into a new chapter". On platforms where haptic feedback is not available, YouTube has will 'snap' you to the start of each chapter.
As YouTube indicates in its announcement tweet, initial testing has shown that when Chapters are enabled, viewers actually watch more of the video, and come back more often on average. That may well be enough impetus for you to give them a try.
YouTube says chapters are now available in all users.