YouTube Adding Feature to Let Users Contribute Notes Providing Context to Videos

YouTube is making a significant addition to its product, in the middle of a contentious presidential election year.

The streaming video platform will let users attach notes to videos, allowing them to add context to viewers.

More from The Hollywood Reporter

“For example, this could include notes that clarify when a song is meant to be a parody, point out when a new version of a product being reviewed is available, or let viewers know when older footage is mistakenly portrayed as a current event,” the platform wrote in a blog post.

The feature will be limited at first, restricted to mobile users in the U.S., and English only. A “limited number” of contributors will be invited by email or the Creator Studio, with additional contributors being added over time.

Users will see the notes appear in the next few weeks.

“During this test phase, we anticipate that there will be mistakes – notes that aren’t a great match for the video, or potentially incorrect information – and that’s part of how we’ll learn from the experiment,” the company added. “Viewers, participants, and creators are invited to give us feedback on the quality of notes, and we’ll look at ways to improve over time, including whether it makes sense to expand the feature.”

The feature (Elon Musk’s has a similar one called “Community Notes”) is meant to help users better understand videos, footage or comments, something particularly relevant during a presidential election year, with plenty of footage already being shared with missing or incomplete context.

And YouTube, with its enormous influence and scale (not to mention the resources of Google), seems intent on tackling the problem.

Best of The Hollywood Reporter