YouTube is now automatically adding chapters to videos by default — a new feature that can be turned on or off from the settings panel.
Automatic video chapters were first launched as an experiment late last year, and YouTube is now rolling it out to all eligible videos.
Instead of the creator providing timestamps and titles, YouTube’s machine learning steps in and creates the chapters automatically.
This feature is now turned on for all channels. Channels can turn it off in YouTube Studio by clicking on Edit Video and toggling the option to ‘allow automatic chapters when eligible and available.’
In addition, if creators prefer to opt out of automatic chapters for all uploads going forward, they can do that as well.
Go to Settings > Upload Defaults > Advanced Settings. This menu will have an option to turn off automatic chapters for all videos.
More Details About YouTube’s Automatic Chapters
Three’s three additional things to note about YouTube’s automatic chapters feature.
The first is that creators can override YouTube’s automatic chapters by manually entering their own in the video description.
The second thing is not all videos are eligible for automatic chapters. YouTube’s announcement didn’t specify whether specific criteria needs to be met in order to qualify for this feature, so it’s not known what would make a video ineligible.
To that end, this feature may not even be compatible with eligible videos, as YouTube says a video can be eligible but not have suitable chapters to be automatically generated.
Lastly, this feature will start rolling out to new uploads only. It will eventually roll out to more videos depending on how recently they were uploaded.
Benefits of Automatic YouTube Chapters
YouTube’s new automatic chapters can save creators’ time during the upload process. In some cases it may allow creators to utilize a feature they didn’t have time to take advantage of before.
Manually creating chapters for videos can be somewhat time consuming, especially for creators who produce longer content.
However, chapters help provide a better user experience. They make it possible skim videos similar to how one would skim an article or a blog post.
Long videos may touch on a number of different topics, while a particular viewer may only be interested in one or two of the items discussed.
Chapters allow the viewer to consume the parts of the video they want to see, and then move on to consuming more videos.
By providing a more user-friendly video experience, the creator may attract more subscribers and increase their repeat viewership.
Not to mention there’s an SEO benefit associated with video chapters as well.
YouTube videos with chapters are eligible to appear as rich results in Google Search on mobile devices.
This can greatly improve a video’s visibility in search results and lead to attracting more viewers from Google searches.
Although, like adding structured data to a webpage, adding chapters to a YouTube video does not guarantee it will be displayed as a rich result. It simply makes it eligible.
Source: Creator Insider