This week, Google started a limited YouTube experience with some users on some videos. Like other YouTube “feature experiments”, you can see this feature in some videos or you may not even see it at all. In some cases, users can choose to participate or not. In that case, there is a way to know for sure if you are part of the party.
Since April 29, 2021, YouTube is testing “new timed comments”. This system allows users to see comments “timed at the exact moment you’re watching a video”. You can recognize this type of commenting system on sites like SoundCloud. You may be surprised that it is not yet part of most other sites that host audio and / or video – but it didn’t!
This experiment is, as Jordan from the YouTube team suggested this week, “available in some videos for a small group of people” at the moment. They are currently considering “launching this more broadly based on feedback”.
If you’d like to know if you’re part of this experiment, you’ll need to open your YouTube app on iOS or Android. At the moment, it is only the Android and iOS versions of YouTube that are part of this experiment – no other platform. After opening the app, open a video, go to the comments section and tap the Rate button.
If, when you tap the Rate button, you see “Timed Beta”, you can activate the timed comment experiment. If you don’t see this option, you are not part of that experiment. You may be able to see this experiment on one device, but not the other.
Do you think it makes sense for YouTube to employ comments that appear at certain points along the timeline of each video? Does this feature make sense on the website to which it is most frequently associated?