YouTube has started testing a timed reactions feature on its mobile apps, which would let users react to specific moments of the video with eight emojis. The announcement was made by the Google-owned company and it is currently testing the feature as an experiment, which suggests that the final version of the feature may go through changes during its development based on user feedback.
It is pertinent to mention that YouTube disabled the dislike button in November and the platform has been testing other ways to interact with content, including SoundCloud-like timed comments on videos. YouTube made an announcement on its support website on Monday revealing that it was rolling out a new timed reactions experiment to users after receiving positive feedback about its time comments beta feature.
The new feature will allow users to react to moments of a video with eight emojis that will appear stacked at specific points on the video’s progress bar. YouTube says that timed reactions feature will be anonymized, which means that the platform will not show who sent each reaction.
YouTube said that the new timed reactions feature will be tested with a small number of channels to begin, but the company did not reveal the list of channels or videos that are part of the experiment. The feature is currently being tested on the smartphone app and YouTube has not confirmed whether the same will be made available on the desktop version of the video platform.
If the user is watching a video that is part of the experiment, they will be able to react and see crowd reactions by opening the comment section of the video and tapping into the reaction panel. The test will also show them which moments other viewers area reacting to in the video.
The company added that they will be testing multiple sets of reactions (emojis) and will add or remove them based on how the experiment goes. However, the company did not reveal any exact date for when the feature will be rolled out on a global scale.