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YouTube’s video chapters help to organize your YouTube videos into easily accessible subtopics. As a feature on the social media platform, it helps you to create sections that viewers can preview using labelled timestamps. Your viewers will be able to see the content of your video and easily find the parts they are looking for within the video.

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YouTube has distinguished itself by constantly working on its features every year. One of its features known as ‘chapters’ is instrumental for video content creation. Just like it sounds, it performs the same way (creators can create chapters within their videos).

You must have seen the chapters of a particular video in the past. What chapters do is break your video up into sections. This way, your viewers are able to click on their point of interest. For example, a video that talks about the importance of fibre in our diet could be broken into 5 chapters. In the beginning, there would be an into chapter, then the next chapter would bring up a point, point three, point four, and then an outro in the last chapter.

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The chapters usually appear as small bars in your video timeline. It makes it possible for one to scroll through as freely as one wishes. Chapters are really easy to add to your videos. To add them, you have to add timestamps into the description of your uploads. First of all, watch your video and identify where and when a new section starts. Your timestamps could look something like this:
  • 0:00 Introduction
  • 0:20 What is fibrous food?
  • 5:00 A list of fibrous food
  • 5:30 Importance of fibre in our diet
  • 6:00 Outro

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You must start your timestamps with 0:00 for your video chapters to work. If your video is longer than9 minutes, the timestamps will have to change from 0:00 to a 00:00 format.

When you want to upload your video, make sure that the timestamps are included in the video description. What this creates is a sort of table of contents for your viewers. Adding a “Timestamps” or “Chapters” header in the video description will automatically separate your video into chapters. Parts of your video will be featured as “selected clips” on Google and this will help to increase your viewershipIf the clips are selected in a Google search, the viewer will go straight to the beginning of that chapter of the video.

The benefits of adding chapters to your YouTube videos are many. The most prominent is that adding chapters to a video will improve the user experience. Your subscribers and viewers will find the information within your videos easily. The second benefit is that it will help your video show up in search results.

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This article was first published on 20th May 2022


Ohia, Ernest Chigaemezu is a writer, editor, and grade teacher based in Jos, Nigeria.

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