YouTube just gave everyone access to another feature that was previously only for YouTube Premium subscribers. A new graph on the progress bar in both the web player and mobile apps will show the “most replayed” sections of the video.
This feature should help you find the most popular parts of any video, allowing you to skip through any “dead air” kind of situation. One of the better examples of this feature would be using it to skip directly to the how-to section of a video.
“When you start seeking, you’ll see a graph above the red progress bar. If the graph is high, then that part of the video has been replayed often,” YouTube explains in the support documentation.
Sounds good, right? Well, we have some concerns. How will this impact YouTube’s creators, in terms of monetization and metrics like hours watched?
If everyone is skipping to specific sections, that’s going to negatively impact things. It could also change things so creators focus on making more of whatever the popular sections are, reducing the overall range of their content.
We’ll have to wait and see what feedback from creators is over this change. YouTube is trying to make positive changes to the experience on the site, and this is just one part.
The overall goal is to give viewers more control over how they watch content on YouTube. That includes ways to break up longer videos into shorter chunks, so they can be watched around our daily schedules.
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