As part of a wave of updates, a new feature that encourages you to skip YouTube videos and avoid boring bits is being added to the world’s largest video sharing platform.
The collective attention span of the world appears to be getting shorter and shorter. Where we used to read blogs (if you’re reading this then I guess you still are, at least), we turned to vlogs. Now, vlogs have been cast aside to make way for short form video.
Social media companies like TikTok are becoming heavyweight cultural signposts, influencing change and trends in society. Instagram has also lately admitted it will reward creators who upload original content to Reels.
Relatively recently, YouTube launched its own answer to TikTok; Shorts. These minute-long videos seem to do a lot of the work when it comes to increasing the reach of channels. The online universe is just desperare for everyone to create short form content.
But, there are still plenty of creators on YouTube sharing longer videos. Some content simply works best when given more time. For sharing information, businesses can make vlogs that help customers understand a product or service more. In-depth reviews on new tech or even movies require upwards of 5 minutes usually. Surely there’s still value in longer YouTube videos, and the platform recognises that. Right?
New Skip Feature
A newly announced feature will see YouTube highlight the “most replayed” parts of videos. This will be visible on both the web player and in the app.
Previously, the new feature was only available to Premium members as an experiment. Now, it has rolled out to all users as of yesterday (18th May).
You’ll be able to identify whether a section of content has been replayed lots of times due to a graph that appears behind the progress bar of a video. YouTube has said: “If the graph is high, then that part of the video has been replayed often. You can use the graph to quickly find and watch those moments.”
It’s not a complicated concept, however it could divide opinions. For viewers in a hurry, this could become an incredibly helpful and handy feature. But, for creators, it could mean lots of carefully filmed, edited, and created content goes unseen.
Viewers being able to skip YouTube videos and cherry-pick the best bits somewhat undermines the idea behind longer form video. Another way of looking at this feature it that it adds to a channel’s analytics. Graphs could indicate to creators exactly what their audiences value and want to see more of. Whilst this could be viewed as advantageous, it could also be seen as unwanted added pressure to creators.