Well, this is a weird one.
YouTube has begun a new experiment with the goal of providing viewers with a “new way to engage with videos” on its site. Timed reactions is a new feature that allows users to share an emoji reaction at a certain point in a video, similar to how Facebook/Meta Live reactions work.
It’s comparable to YouTube’s timed comments beta function, which was released to a small set of users in April of last year. YouTube will test the new timed reactions experiment with a small variety of channels at first, just like it did with timed comments.
You’ll be able to see how other viewers are reacting to specific parts of the video. By viewing the comments section and tapping the reaction panel while watching a video that’s part of the new timed reactions experiment, you’ll be able to react to it and see crowd reactions.YouTube is currently testing a number of reactions and will tweak them based on user feedback.
The feature may become more widely available in the future months, depending on user feedback. It’s worth noting, though, that not all experimental features become permanent. For example, the timed comments function is still only available to beta users on flagship Android phones.