YouTube has started testing the function of timed reactions on its mobile applications, the platform owned by Google announced on Monday. Users can react to certain moments in the video with eight emojis, according to YouTube.
It is currently testing the feature as an experiment, suggesting that the feature could undergo changes during development based on user feedback. Last November, YouTube disabled counting video discs and has since tested other ways of interacting with content, including timed comments on videos like SoundCloud.
In a statement on YouTube’s support website on Monday, YouTube revealed that it is launching a new time response experiment for users, after receiving positive feedback about its beta feature timed comments. Users will be able to react to messages with eight emojis at the exact moments of the video, and the reactions will appear stacked at certain points in the video progress bar. YouTube says that the reactions will be anonymous and that the platform will not show who sent each reaction.
YouTube says a new timed reaction experiment will be released on a small number of channels, to begin with. However, the company has yet to reveal a list of channels or videos that are part of the experiment.
When users watch a video that is part of an experiment, they will be able to react to a specific moment in the video by opening the comments section and tapping on the reaction panel. Navigating to this section will also show audience reactions.
The announcement shows the timed reactions in action in the YouTube application on the smartphone, and the company did not specify whether the experiment will be available on the website for desktop computers.
As part of YouTube’s new time response experiment, the service says it will test “multiple sets” of reactions while adding or removing reactions based on user feedback. The service is working on ways to improve interactions on the video-sharing platform – including the controversial removal of public dislikes on videos in November 2021 and testing a beta timed comment feature that allows users to leave comments on specific timestamps on videos.
There is currently no word on whether the new timed response experiment will eventually be available to all users, and could undergo several changes during development or be discontinued in favor of another way to interact with videos once the company completes function testing.