YouTube is testing a new feature to show user comments at a specific time while a video is playing. A new opportunity for marketers?
A functionality in the testing phase
Google is testing a new timed commenting system on Android and iOS. This will allow users to add their chronologically linked comments to a YouTube video.
At the moment, it seems that the group Google is testing with is very limited. If you are one of those who want to give it a try, you will find this feature in “Sort by” in the comments section at the bottom right of the playback window. If you have access to it, you’ll see a “Scheduled Beta” option listed.
You may have noticed, but the feature is similar to the old SoundCloud-style commentary display, which allows listeners to share their enthusiasm for certain elements of each track.
As a reminder, SoundCloud is an online audio application and a music sharing platform. The interactive nature of SoundCloud allows creators – from musicians to podcasters – to connect with listeners and fans through its various sharing tools. It includes a feature for which SoundCloud is perhaps best known: its commentary feature. It allows users to share their thoughts on specific moments in an audio stream, which are then visible to everyone listening to the track.
YouTube thus has a functionality similar to SoundCloud, showing small tick marks on the scrolling bar to indicate where users have linked their comments to a specific part of a song.
More engagement on YouTube videos?
It’s hard to say at the moment, but it’s an interesting option for motivating audience behavior and engagement on YouTube. It can also provide more information about the type of video content that viewers interact with the most and best moments in the (longer) video, especially for optimizing your video marketing strategy.
It must be remembered that video marketing has taken the social media world by storm:
- For example, YouTube reports approximately 4,950,000,000 video views per day.
- People watch over 100 million hours of video on Facebook
- On Instagram, video viewing time has increased by more than 80% year over year.
In addition to the hundreds of thousands of hours people spend watching videos every day, video marketing can also help drive brand growth and a solid marketing ROI. According to a study by ReelSEO and HubSpot:
- YouTube reaches more ages 18-49 than any broadcast or cable TV network, and only those with mobile traffic;
- 64% of users are more likely to buy a product online after watching a video;
- Up to 80% increase in conversions with video on a landing page;
- Visitors spend 88% more time on a website containing videos.
Your job as a marketer doesn’t end with creating an engaging video. If you want your video marketing efforts to make a good impression, you need to get them to the right audience through the right channels at the right time.
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