YouTube is testing a Notes feature


YouTube is always coming out with useful features that people either like or absolutely hate. This next feature will be a little familiar if you’re on Twitter often. According to a new report, YouTube is working on a new Notes feature. This feature will allow users to add additional context to videos.

Oftentimes, we need some additional context when watching YouTube videos. We could be watching a video about a sensitive or objective topic like iOS 18’s new icon customizations vs. Material You (or war or whatever). You could also watch a video with out-of-date information or inaccurate facts. This is a pretty big issue with any platform, and YouTube is looking to combat this.

YouTube is testing a Notes feature

You’ll know the mechanics of this feature if you’re familiar with the Community Notes feature on Twitter. This is a program that allows users to fact-check posts on the platform and provide the relevant amendments. Undoubtedly, this feature has helped avoid some serious misinformation.

Well, it looks like YouTube took some inspiration from this feature. This Labs experiment works pretty much the same way. A note will sit right below the video description preview. It’ll be the third thing you see on the screen after the description preview and the video itself.

The Note will begin with “Viewers added a note.” Under that, you’ll see a preview of the note itself. The preview shows a significant amount of text before being cut off. What’s neat about this feature is that the notes can also point to specific times in the video. So, if you’re fact-checking an hour-long video essay, you can point to a specific moment. Within the notes, users can post links to other sites for additional information.

Overall, this seems like a very useful feature to have, but it might not see wide adoption for a while. At the moment, YouTube is only testing the Notes feature. It’s being tested among a “limited number of eligible contributors.” Since the test is so limited, there’s no telling when YouTube will toss it to the average Joe.

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What they’ll be used for

The Notes won’t only be for halting misinformation; they could also be for less serious matters. As noted by YouTube, the notes are just for extra context not explained in the video.

The company gave examples like when you need to point out when a song is a parody, a new version of a product being reviewed is available, and when older footage is used to portray current events. That’s only a few examples. Another example would be to add solid information to a video about a quickly-evolving subject.