The feature lets users anonymously share emoji reactions at an exact moment in a video.
YouTube is experimenting with a new option to share emoji reactions at an exact moment in a video.
The video platform is piloting timed reactions with a “small number of channels to start,” YouTube community manager Meaghan wrote in a blog announcement.
Those watching as part of the trial can tap into a separate reaction panel via the comments section, where users can share their thoughts as colourful pictograms and see how others are (anonymously) reacting—similar to Facebook Live or Twitch. “We’re testing multiple sets of reactions and will add or remove reactions based on how the experiment goes,” the blog post explained.
YouTube last year began testing a function that lets users view comments timed to an exact moment in the video they’re watching. Folks can already timestamp video comments, adding a direct link to a specific point—making it easier to navigate a video or simply highlight a particular moment.
“We heard such positive feedback about the times comments beta feature,” the blog said, “that we wanted to test out similar features.” There’s no word yet on whether timed comments will be made more broadly available.
Emoji reactions are historically hit-or-miss: Twitter has twice tried the iconic retorts, last year asking people to choose between three different sets featuring classic options like a laughing face, thinking face, crying face, astonished face, and flame. Nearly a year later, the microblogging service has yet to roll out any reactions beyond the usual heart.
Stephanie joined PCMag in May 2012, moving to New York City from Frederick, Md., where she worked for four years as a multimedia reporter at the second-largest daily newspaper in Maryland. She has also written about technology, science, culture, and Doctor Who for PCMag sister site Geek.com. She is based in Edinburgh, Scotland.
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