YouTube Introduces “Notes” for Video Descriptions

Google has begun testing a new feature on the mobile version of YouTube that enhances viewer interaction with videos. Users will now be able to not only comment on videos but also contribute annotations to their timelines. Google explained the purpose behind this feature and showcased how it will appear to users.

This new feature is called “Notes.” With Notes, users can leave important annotations on videos that other viewers can see and rate as “helpful” or “unhelpful.” Annotations that receive enough positive ratings will be displayed in a small pop-up window that expands to show the video description. Otherwise, they remain hidden.

Notes allow viewers to leave significant comments along the video timeline. For instance, this could include clarifying that the video content is a parody or pointing out the dated nature of footage presented as current events.

During the feature’s testing phase, Google is collecting data on what users find useful or not, which will help train its automatic rating system in the future. Users are encouraged to provide reasons for their ratings, and Google offers several tips on writing effective notes:

  • Include sources of information.
  • Keep judgments neutral and unbiased.
  • Ensure the note is easy to understand.
  • Provide important context that may not be evident in the video itself.
  • Ensure the note aligns with the video’s thesis or title.

Currently, this innovation is available to a limited number of smartphone users in the USA. For more information about “Notes,” users can visit Google’s support page dedicated to this feature. The release date for wider availability remains unspecified.

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