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YouTube is starting to test timed comments on videos

The latest YouTube experiment seems to try time-bound comments that will appear right when you watch a video.

If this sounds familiar, it’s very similar to how comments are already displayed on some other services like Soundcloud, or even when chats appear in YouTube livestream plays. These timed comments are only available to a small group of YouTube users – we have not been blessed with the possibility of any of our accounts.

If you are selected, you will press the comment sort button to bring up a new “Time Beta” option that displays the aforementioned time-specific quips in a YouTube video. This can help prevent spoilers in certain content, or can have the exact opposite effect with more comment spam than what is currently littering the video streaming platform.

[April 29, 2021
] Testing new timed comments: We are currently testing a new feature that allows you to see comments for the moment you see in a video. This experiment is available on some videos for a small group of people, and we will consider rolling this out more based on feedback. To see if you are part of the experiment, go to the comments field on iOS or Android and press the Sort button to select “Timed beta”.

As with just about any YouTube experiment, there is no rhyme or reason as to which features are discarded and what ends up being adopted more widely. Time-bound comments will certainly be an interesting addition to the YouTube wholesaler, but we assume that those lucky enough to see the beta feature will have to tell us how it works in practice.

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