YouTube’s latest experiment lets you engage with videos using timed emoji reactions

YouTube logo on mobile screen
(Image credit: Jason England / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • YouTube has started testing a new feature called “timed reactions.”
  • The new option enables users to share an emoji reaction for specific moments in a video.
  • YouTube is piloting the experiment with a small number of channels to start.

YouTube has launched a new experiment that aims to give viewers a “new way to engage with videos” on its platform. The new option, called timed reactions, will allow users to share an emoji reaction at an exact moment within a video, similar to how reactions work on Facebook Live.

It is similar to the timed comments beta feature that YouTube rolled out to a small group of people in April last year. Just like timed comments, YouTube will pilot the new timed reactions experiment with a small number of channels initially.

“We know community is important to you, so we’re committed to bringing you more features that strengthen the sense of community on YouTube,” said Meaghan from Team YouTube.

When you’re watching a video that’s part of the new timed reactions experiment, you’ll be able to react and view crowd reactions on it by opening the comments section and tapping the reaction panel. 

YouTube timed reactions

(Image credit: YouTube)

You will also be able to see the specific moments in the video that other viewers are reacting to. YouTube is currently testing multiple sets of reactions and will add or remove reactions based on feedback from users.

Depending on the response from users, the feature could become more broadly available in the coming months. However, it is important to note that not every experimental feature ends up being permanent. The timed comments feature, for instance, is still limited to beta users on the best Android phones.

Twitter, too started testing emoji-style reactions on tweets in some regions last year. Even after nearly six months, there’s still no word on a wider rollout.

Babu Mohan
News Writer