Image Credit: YouTube

Found on a recent support page, YouTube appears to be experimenting with timestamped comments, similar to those on SoundCloud.

The support page reads:

Testing new timed comments: We’re currently testing a new feature that allows you to view comments timed to the exact moment you’re watching in a video. This experiment is available on some videos to a small group of people and we’ll consider rolling this out more broadly based on feedback. To see if you’re part of the experiment, go to the comments section on iOS or Android, and tap the Sort button to select “Timed Beta”.

Jordan – Team YouTube

Currently on YouTube, viewers can type a timecode in the comments and this will automatically be hyperlinked, allowing those who click it to immediately jump to that part in the video.

On SoundCloud, all comments are linked to a specific time in the audio. This is great if the comment refers to a particular portion of the track and acts as a visual representation of how popular conversation is around a song, as well as the most impactful moments.

YouTube’s implementation of this feature sounds to be somewhat similar to SoundCloud’s, however this could be dangerous territory. YouTube’s filtering algorithm isn’t perfect and comment sections can be filled with harassment. Having hurtful comments more prominent needs to be avoided at all costs.

Last year, YouTube introduced ‘chapters’. This let creators split videos into skippable segments, by writing timestamps in the video description. Great for audiences who want to jump to an exact moment.