YouTube is testing timed comments and we aren’t sure who wants this

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The comments section of YouTube is a dice roll. Some comments are well thought out others, however, are fuelled by rage and hatred which nobody wants to see.

A new feature being tested by YouTube could change how often you see those comments and by that we mean if this feature lands, you might see comments more often.

This feature is timed comments which you may have seen on websites such as Soundcloud. Essentially, comments will appear on a video at the timestamp during the video in which they were posted.

“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,” the YouTube team wrote in an update to its test features and experiments post.

For now testing is limited to a small group of Android and iOS users but you could be a part of that experiment. To see if you are, open your YouTube app and tap the Sort Comments button. If you are a part of the experiment you will see the option to sort by Timed Beta.

What we’re struggling with is why anybody would want this sort of feature for YouTube. Android Police, which spotted the update, said that it might help get to the crux of a video faster but we’re not so sure that’s useful what with playback speed options available across all devices.

We could see this feature being fun in music videos similar to how it works in Soundcloud but for regular videos we hope that timed comments are an option that remains off by default. That is of course if timed comments even make it out of the experiment phase.


Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.


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