10 YouTube Features and Tricks You Should Know for 2021
When talking about today’s most popular content-sharing websites, YouTube features are often excluded from conversations where sites like Facebook and Twitter seem to reign.
Don’t be fooled, however, as YouTube has a lot in its favor. Although Facebook is the most popular social network, YouTube is the second in reach after Facebook based on general usage. It is also the second largest search engine after its parent company, Google.
You probably don’t even know that with YouTube you can do a lot of interesting things. For example, did you know that YouTube automatically creates a transcript written for your videos that, if improved, can help other people find your videos more easily in search? Or that you can use YouTube to easily create a slide show and even add a song with the free audio content library?
We want to help you get the most out of this platform, which is still among the most popular today, and that’s why we’ve created a list of 20 little-known tips, features and tips that YouTube offers.
1. How to create a link to start playing a video from a specific time youtube feature
Have you ever wanted to send a YouTube video that starts playing from a certain moment? For example, let’s say you’re trying to convince your friends to learn the choreography of the video “Sorry” by Justin Bieber together.
Instead of sending them the normal YouTube link and telling them to start playing the video in the second 50, you can send them a specific link where the video starts the moment you choose. There’s no hurry, this article will stay here when you’re done!
You can find the instructions below.
To create a link where YouTube video playback starts from a specific moment, open the video and click on the “Share” option below the title. Then, under the first tab (also called “Share”), select the box next to “Start in” and type whatever time you want (in hours:minutes:seconds). Alternatively, you can pause the video when you want it to start so that the field automatically fills with that time.
After a few seconds you will see a small piece of code added at the end of the generic YouTube link (in this case, ?t=28s). Just copy that link and paste it wherever you want.
It’s worth mentioning that you can’t embed a video that starts at a given time, as you can only embed the generic link.
2. How to easily access transcripts of other users’ videos
Did you know that YouTube automatically generates a transcript of each video posted on its website? That’s right, anyone has access to that transcript unless the user who posts the video manually hides it from viewers.
At this moment I come up with several situations where video transcripts can be useful. For example, you might want to write a phrase extracted from a video; but pausing and writing repeatedly drives you crazy. Or maybe you need to find a specific section of a video, but you don’t want to see it all again to find it. If you have a transcript, you can find this kind of information without having to search for it in a conventional way.
To view the transcript of a video, open the video on YouTube and click on the “More” tab below the title. Then select the “Transcription” option from the drop-down menu.
If this option is not in the menu, it is because the user chose to hide it.
The transcription appears as a new module in the same window. In many cases, the user who uploaded the video does not manually check the transcription, so it may not be perfect; however, it will save you some time and avoid headaches.
3. How to edit or upload a transcript to increase the visibility of your video in your search
YouTube and its parent company, Google, consider several video rating factors in the search to determine what your video is about. Transcription is part of these elements. The description of your video is an even more important rating factor, so Ryan Stewart, a digital marketing consultant, also suggests copying and pasting your transcript into the description field.
To add a transcript to your video, go to YouTube Studio and on the left menu, choose “Subtitles”.
Click on the video you want to edit, then click “Add Language” and select the one you want. In subtitles, click “Add”. It plays the video and writes the subtitles. Remember to add descriptions of relevant sounds, such as [applause] or [barking dog], so that your audience knows what’s going on in the video.
Set your language if you haven’t done it yet. You have 3 different ways to add subtitles to your video:
Load a pre-written transcript or a time code subtitle file. More information about the types of files you can upload and other details can be found here.
Automatically transcribe and synchronize.
Write the subtitles as you watch the video.
The YouTube team made efforts to make the third option as simple as possible. For example, if you select the box next to “Pause Video on Write”, the process will be much easier. The following GIF shows this step in action:
4. How to use YouTube to get free transcripts of your videos and audio files easily
This is the last piece of advice on transcripts, but I bet you’ve never seen them this way. As mentioned in council 2, YouTube automatically adds a transcript to all videos, but if you want to get the transcript of a single audio or video file and don’t want to pay for the service, YouTube’s built-in subtitle system is a good basic tool. And of course, you can always refine the transcript later.
To get the automated transcription of a video just upload your video to YouTube, open it on this platform’s website, select the “More” tab below the title and click “Transcript” on the drop-down menu. The transcription appears as a new module in the same window. If you want to improve the transcription, follow the steps described in Council #3 to provide an optimized experience for users.
To get automated transcription of an audio uploads audio to YouTube via a service such as TunesToTube. YouTube will take 2-30 minutes to upload the file. Then follow the instructions I described earlier to get automated transcription of a video.
5. How to create, share and collaborate on video playlists
Like other media-sharing websites, such as Spotify and iTunes, you can create playlists on YouTube, which is actually just a place to save and organize videos (yours and other users). Also, you can make your playlists private, public or even share them directly with other people.
Playlists are useful for different types of users: from people collecting cooking videos for a family dinner they are organizing to brands that segment their YouTube content by topic. For example, Tasty’s YouTube playlists divide recipes by food type so that people can search for and find the dishes they want easily:
To create a playlist on a mobile device click here for instructions on how to create new playlists on your iOS or Android mobile devices.
To add a video to a playlist while playing it, click “Save” below the video title, and select the check box next to the playlist you would like to add it to.
YouTube Features to Add Video to Playlist
If you want to add a video to a playlist from your playlist page, just click on “Edit” from the list you want to edit, and when it opens, you can paste the video URL by choosing the three points below the playlist cover and selecting “Add Videos”.
Plus, your friends can also add content to your playlists. All you have to do is enable the “Help” option. Once you have enabled it, anyone with whom you share a playlist link can add videos. You can even remove any video you add.
To add friends to a playlist, go to your playlist page again and choose “Edit” from the list you want to collaborate with your friends on. Click the three points below your name and select the “Help” tab. After you have enabled the “Contributors can add videos to this playlist” option, send them a link where they can contribute.
Once you have invited your friends to contribute to this playlist, they will be able to add new videos and remove those they have added earlier. You just have to follow some on-screen instructions first to confirm that you want to contribute to this playlist and save it to your account.
When someone adds a video to a collaborative playlist, their name will appear next to the video on the list and all other contributors will receive notification.
For more information on how to manage the contributor group or stop accepting contributions on a playlist, among other things, see this YouTube support page.
6. Saving videos to watch later
Have you ever seen videos on YouTube that you’d like to save to watch later? Maybe right now you can’t turn up the volume, or maybe you don’t have time to see it. I have news for you! YouTube adapted the idea of Facebook, so it added an option much like Facebook’s “Save Video” feature. On YouTube you can save videos on the “See Later” playlist to access this content at any time.
The list works like any other playlist, so the instructions are the same as those of the previous tip; however, you can’t invite other users to collaborate with you on such lists.
To add a video to your “Watch Later” playlist, open the video on YouTube, click “Save” below the video title and select the check box next to the playlist you would like to add it to, as in the previous step. The instructions are very similar on mobile devices, but if you want to follow them step by step, click here to view the YouTube support page.
To access these videos just go to your main YouTube page and select “See Later” from the menu at the top left of your screen.
On that playlist you can view the videos you have saved and remove the ones you have already seen.
7. How to create your custom YouTube URL
Want to show an easy-to-remember website address so people can visit your YouTube channel? You can actually create a custom URL with various variables, such as your channel name, your YouTube user name, and any other custom URL you have, or the name of your linked website. For example, the Global HubSpot’s personalized address on YouTube is https://www.youtube.com/hubspot.
Important note: before customizing the URL, make sure this is your final choice. Once you get it, you can’t change it or transfer it to someone else. Please note that this address will be linked to your YouTube channel and Google+ identity.
Unfortunately, not all YouTube channels are eligible for a custom URL. In order to obtain it, at least your account or channel must have 100 or more subscribers, at least 30 days of existence, a photo as an icon of your channel and a channel design. If you think you have all these requirements, read on.
To claim your custom URL, open your YouTube account settings and click “View Advanced Settings” in your channel section.
If you meet all the requirements for a custom URL, YouTube will ask you to claim yours through a link.
select the box next to “Custom URL Use Conditions”. Then, when you are fully sure that this is the URL you want (since you will not be able to change it), click “Change URL” to confirm the choice.
8. Adding links that you can click on your videos
Besides viewers watching your video, do you want to keep your interest? On YouTube you can add links where you can click on your videos, which this platform calls “Annotations.” These annotations work in a way similar to the action call buttons. You can use them to make viewers have a link available to subscribe to your channel, market your products, raise funds for a campaign, provide another source of information, etc.
This is a simple way to invite viewers to stay interested and interact with your videos. Even for marketing professionals, this could be a way to send users back to their website from the videos.
What are these links that you can click on? Check out the video below, where the link will appear in the second 22. If you click on the link, the video will be paused and the browser will open a new tab.
Great, right? Below you will find the instructions to add annotations like this in your videos.
To add a link or annotation where you can click a video first make sure your YouTube account is verified and that you have enabled external links.
When you have configured these aspects, contact your Video Manager on YouTube from here or click “Your Channel” and then click “My Videos”, which is on the menu displayed when you click the three lines on your main YouTube page.
Then find the video you want to add links to, click on it, and then click “Details”. Select “Final Screen” and “+ Elements” (we’ll look at the final screens later) from the drop-down menu.
Choose the format that works best for you and a preview will be displayed with the items that will appear in your video, in the second you choose. Then select one of the five item types from the drop-down menu: video, playlist, subscribe, channel or link.
When you select an item type you can add text, select the font, size, background color, and transparency. Below the video you can choose exactly when you want the annotation to start and finish showing.
The idea is that when you add a link, select the box next to “Link” and choose the type of page you want to link to, as an “associated website”. Professional advice: uses tracking tabs in the URL to monitor how many people click the link.
When you have finished creating the annotation, click “Save” and ready.
For more specific instructions, see this article on adding items to videos.
Note: annotations appear on standard YouTube players, but are not shown on non-Chrome players or on mobile devices, tablets or televisions.
9. Adding final screens or content promotion cards
To add a final screen
Do your favorite YouTube creators have closing screens that invite you to continue watching their videos? For example, like Saturday Night Live’s final screen:
You can also create a custom end screen. Thanks to these final screens, viewers still see content on your channel with suggestions from other videos and websites they can consult. Here are the instructions to follow:
Go to your videos on YouTube Studio, choose the video you want to edit and click on “Details”. Select “Final Screen” and you have to repeat the steps mentioned in the previous section to choose a playlist, video or call to action to subscribe to a channel you want.
Any YouTube creator can add a final screen to customize their channel. This article has more details and ideas to inspire you.
To add cards
You can use the YouTube cards to promote the products you use in your videos or links to your website. If viewers select the “i” symbol at the top right of a video, the cards will expand, as in the following example:
To add a card to a YouTube video, go to YouTube Studio, select the video you want to add cards to, click “Details” and search for “Cards” in the menu on the right.
Then select which type of card you want to appear. It will allow you to customize the content that will be shown when viewers click on the “i” symbol in your video:
10. Exploring and downloading the YouTube Library with high-quality audio and music effects free of royalties
Do you want to add sound effects or cool music to your YouTube video or any other video? Surely YouTube has something for you. This platform features a complete library of audio tracks and high-quality sound effects at 320kbps that you can download and add to your videos for free, or listen in your spare time…after all, everyone hears what they want.
To add music or sound effects to your video, open the YouTube Audio Library from here or on YouTube Studio from the Control Panel menu, where you select “Audio Library” on the left bar.
Now the fun begins. In the new design, you will see the unfiltered list, although you can choose an item to organize it better. To find faster sound effects, click on “Classic Audio Library Version”, there you will find a tab for these files and a different tab for music.
You can also filter the results by category (from human voices to water sounds) or explore the effects you added to favorites before. To easily access these effects later, just select the star to add the track to your “Favorites”.
If you go to the “Free Music” tab you can explore all royalty-free music in the library. Although you won’t find The Beatles music in this section, you’ll find some good content: as music of suspense, inspiration, from holidays (holiday, in Spanish from Spain), jazz and more. Instead of filtering the tracks only by category, you can also segment them by gender, mood, instrument, duration, and so on.