When talking about today’s most popular social sharing sites, YouTube is often left out of the conversation in favor of sites like Facebook and Twitter.
But don’t be fooled: YouTube has a lot to offer. While Facebook may be the largest social networking site, YouTube has the second largest reach in terms of general usage after Facebook. It’s also the second largest search engine behind parent company Google.
And there are tons of cool things to do with YouTube that you might not know about, whether you are using YouTube to watch videos, post them, or both. For example, did you know that YouTube has its own Virtual Reality (VR) setting that allows videos to be viewed in 360 degrees? Or that you can create a YouTube time link that takes viewers to a specific moment in the video?
Amazing stuff, guys. So that you can get the most out of the still very popular platform, we’ve put together a list of 20 lesser-known hacks, tips, and features that YouTube has to offer.
YouTube tricks, hacks and features
- Turn any video into a GIF.
- Create a YouTube time link to start a video at certain points.
- See the written transcript of a video.
- Let yourself be found in the search by uploading your own written transcript.
- Use YouTube to create a written transcript.
- Create, share and collaborate on video playlists.
- Save videos to watch later.
- Create your own YouTube URL.
- Add an end screen or cards to promote similar content.
- Browse and download YouTube’s free sound and music library.
- Add creative effects with YouTube enhancements.
- Play videos in the background on mobile devices.
- Live stream videos on YouTube.
- Upload and watch videos in 360 degrees and VR.
- Look out for a new YouTube ad algorithm.
- Remove ads from YouTube videos for $ 10 a month.
- Use Google Trends to search popular YouTube search terms.
- Turn on a “safer” YouTube for your kids.
- Clear your watch history.
- Learn about YouTube copyrights in a new way.
20 YouTube Tricks, Hacks, and Features You Will Want To Know About
1. You can turn any YouTube video into a GIF using the URL.
Everyone loves GIFs, but knowing how to make them is not widely known. Well it should be because all it takes is a little YouTube URL trick.
How to make a GIF from a YouTube video: Select a video you want to watch on YouTube and find the url at the top of your browser. Add the word “gif” just before the domain name so it reads: “www.gifyoutube.com/[your-video-tag]. “
This will take you to gifs.com. Your video has already been uploaded and is ready to be edited. Here you will find a menu of options on the left with a timeline bar at the bottom of your video. You can set the GIF duration, crop the frame, add captions, and much more.
Click “Create GIF” in the top right and you’ll be prompted for a GIF title and set of tags. Then hit “Next” and you have a handy landing page to share your newly embossed GIF. Note that the only way to download this GIF to an offline file is by logging into gifs.com.
2. You can create a link that starts a YouTube video at a specific time.
Ever wanted to send someone a YouTube video but point out a specific moment? For example, suppose you’re trying to recruit your friends to learn the dance with them in Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” music video.
Instead of sending your friends the general YouTube link and instructing them to fast-forward to the 0:50 minute mark, you can actually send them a specific YouTube timed link that will start the video at any point in time. Click here to see what I mean.
Okay, here’s how to do it:
To create a link that starts a YouTube video at a specific time: Open the video and click “Share” on the far right of the video title. Then, in the options window that appears, check the box next to “Start at:” and enter the time you want (in hours: minutes: seconds). Alternatively, you can pause the video at the time you want and this field will be filled in automatically.
After a few moments, a tag will appear at the bottom of the general YouTube link (in this case t = 50s). Just copy and paste this link wherever you want.
It’s worth noting that you can’t embed a video to have it start at a specific time. You can’t just link to it.
3. You can see the written transcripts of people’s videos easily.
Did you know that YouTube automatically creates a written transcript for every single video uploaded to its website? That’s right – and everyone has access to this transcript unless the user manually hides it from the audience.
I can think of a number of different situations where video transcripts can be useful. For example, you might want to jot down a quote from a video, but the boredom of pausing and typing, pausing and typing would drive you to the wall. Or maybe you need to find a specific section of a video but don’t want to watch the whole thing again to find it. With a transcript in hand, you can find information like this without doing everything by hand.
To see the transcript of a video: Open the video in YouTube and press the “More” tab under the video title. Select “Transcript” from the drop-down menu.
(If you don’t see this option, the user has hidden the transcript.)
This transcript is displayed as a new module in the same window. In many cases, the user who uploaded the video did not go back and manually polished the transcript so it is not perfect. But it will surely save you time and pain.
4. You can help ensure that your video is found in searches by editing or uploading a transcript.
Both YouTube and parent company Google look at a number of factors when ranking videos in search to determine what your video is about, and your transcript is one of them. (An even bigger ranking factor is the description of your video. This is why digital marketing consultant Ryan Stewart suggests that you include your transcript directly in the description field as well.)
To add a transcript to your video: Open the video on YouTube and you’ll see a series of icons just below the play button. Click the rightmost icon for “Subtitles / CC”. (CC stands for “Closed Captions”.)
Set your language if you haven’t already. You will then be asked to choose between three different ways to add subtitles or subtitles to your video …
- Upload a pre-written text log or timed subtitle file. (Learn about the types of files you can upload and more here.)
- Include a full transcript of the video with the subtitle timings set automatically.
- Enter them while watching the video.
The folks over at YouTube have done some great things to make this third option (tap while watching) as painless as possible. For example, checking a box next to “Pause video as you type” will speed up the whole process considerably. Here is a GIF that shows this in action:
For more information on optimizing your YouTube videos for search, see the video below.
5. You can easily get free transcriptions of your videos and audio files with YouTube.
I promise this is the last one on transcripts – but I bet you never thought about it like that. As you know from # 3, YouTube automatically adds a transcript to every video. However, if you’re looking for a one-time transcription of an audio or video file and don’t want to pay for a service, YouTube’s built-in closed captioning system isn’t a bad place to start. You can always clean it up later.
How to get an automated transcription for a video: Simply upload your video to YouTube, open it on the YouTube website, click the “More” tab under the video title and select “Transcript” from the drop-down menu. The transcript is displayed as a new module in the same window. If you want to clean it up, just follow the steps outlined in number 3 for a user friendly experience.
How to get an automatic transcription for an audio file: You’ll need to upload your audio recording to YouTube using a service like TunesToTube. Uploading from YouTube takes between 2 and 30 minutes. Then follow the directions above to get an automated transcription for a video.
6. You can create, share, and collaborate on video playlists.
Just like your other favorite media sharing sites like Spotify and iTunes, you can create a “playlist” on YouTube. Here you can save and organize the videos (your own and others’). You can keep playlists private, make them public, or even share them directly with others.
Playlists are useful for many different types of users, from the custom collection of cooking videos for their upcoming dinner party to a brand that segments their YouTube video content by topic. For example, in Tasty’s YouTube playlists, the recipes are broken down by meal type, making it easier for users to search and find what they’re looking for:
To create a playlist on the desktop: Go to your playlists page by clicking here or by clicking your account icon in the top right corner, selecting “Creator Studio”, clicking “Video Manager” on the left and selecting “Playlists”. Then click on “New Playlist” in the top right corner and choose whether you want to keep it private or make it public.
To create a playlist on mobile devices: Click here for instructions on how to create new playlists using your iOS or Android mobile devices.
To add a video to a playlist: If you’re adding a video to a playlist while watching it, click the Add To icon below the video title and select the check box next to the playlist you want to add it to.
If you want to add a video to a playlist right on your playlist page, just click “Add Video” and either paste a video url, choose a video from your uploads, or search for a video on YouTube. When you find the video you want to add, choose the Add To menu from that video and add it to the playlist.
Your friends can also contribute to your playlists. All you have to do is enable the ability to collaborate on playlists. Once you enable it, anyone you share a playlist link with can add videos to that playlist. (You can also remove any videos they added.)
To add friends to a playlist: Go to your Playlists page again and open the playlist you want to collaborate on. Click on “Playlist Settings” and select the “Collaborate” tag. Turn on the setting to allow reps to add videos to the playlist. From there, you can send them a link that will allow them to add videos to the playlist.
Once your friend is invited to a playlist, they can add new videos and remove videos that they added in the past. All they have to do is follow a few on-screen instructions to confirm that they want to contribute and to save the playlist to their own account.
When you add a video to a playlist you’re collaborating on, your name will appear next to the video in the playlist, and anyone invited to collaborate on that playlist will receive a notification that a new video has been added.
(For more information on how to manage contributors, accepting submissions to a playlist, and more, please visit this YouTube support page.)
7. You can save videos to watch later.
Have you ever seen YouTube videos that you wished you could bookmark them for later? Maybe you can’t turn the sound on right now, or you just don’t have time to watch it. Well, YouTube took a page out of Facebook’s … book … by adding something very similar to Facebook’s “save for later” feature. On YouTube, you can save videos in a Watch Later playlist for easy access.
The Watch Later playlist works like a normal playlist, so the instructions are the same as in the previous step (except you can’t invite others to collaborate on your Watch Later playlist).
To add a video to your Watch Later playlist: Open the video on YouTube and click the “Add To” icon under the video title. Check the box next to the playlist you want to add it to, just like in the previous step. The steps are very similar on mobile devices. For full instructions on YouTube’s support page, click here.
How to access these videos: Just go to your YouTube homepage and select “Watch Later” from the menu in the top left of your screen.
From there, you can watch the videos you have saved and easily remove videos that you have already seen from the list.
8. You can create your own custom YouTube URL.
Would you like to give users an easy-to-remember web address to get to your YouTube channel? You can actually create a custom URL based on things like your display name, your YouTube username, current vanity URLs, or the name of your linked website. HubSpots are, for example, https://www.youtube.com/Hubspot.
Important note: Before doing this, make sure that you are certain that this is the custom url you want. Once approved, you cannot request a change or push it to someone else. Note that it is linked to both your YouTube channel and your Google+ identity.
Unfortunately, not everyone is eligible for a custom URL. To get one, you must have 100 or more subscribers, be at least 30 days old, have an uploaded photo as a channel icon, and have uploaded channel images. If that sounds like you, read on.
To claim your custom url: Open your YouTube account settings and click on “Advanced” in your name area.
If you are eligible for a custom URL, clicking a link will prompt you to claim your URL.
9. You can add an end screen or cards to promote content.
Since 2008 YouTube has allowed clickable links on YouTube, so-called “annotations”, that you can insert into your videos. These annotations worked like call-to-action buttons that instruct people to subscribe to your channel, view merchandise or a fundraiser, visit another resource for more information, and so on.
To make them a more natural part of the viewing experience, YouTube has replaced annotations with end screens that allow you to display more visually engaging calls-to-action in the final 30 seconds of your content.
How to add an ending screen
Do your favorite YouTube creators have a fancy closing screen that encourages you to keep watching their videos? For example, here’s one from Saturday Night Live:
You can also create a custom end screen. They help keep the viewers on your channel by suggesting other videos and websites for them to review. That’s how it’s done:
Navigate to your video manager, tap Edit, then choose Exit Screen & Annotations from the drop-down menu:
From there you get to the End Screen Creator Studio, where you can play around with different templates and backgrounds to determine how you want your end screen to appear. Then click the “Add Item” menu to decide where you want to send viewers from your end screen.
Any YouTube creator can add an end screen to customize their channels. Here is an explanatory article with more details and inspiring ideas.
How to add a card
You can use cards to promote products that are used in your videos or links on your website that you want to market on YouTube. When viewers tap the “i” in the upper right corner of a video, the cards expand, as in the following example:
To add a card to a YouTube video, go to your video manager, tap Edit, and choose Cards from the drop-down menu.
Then select where you want cards to appear in the video and tap the Add Card drop-down menu to choose what you want the card to advertise. From there, customize the content that viewers see when they tap the “i” while viewing your video:
10. YouTube has a large library of high quality, royalty-free sound effects and music for you to browse and download.
Do you want to add cool sound effects or music to your YouTube video (or any video)? YouTube is here for you. It has a whole library of high quality audio tracks and sound effects at 320 kbps that you can download royalty-free and add to your videos. (Or listen in your spare time. We won’t judge.)
To add music or sound effects to your video: Open the YouTube audio library by clicking here or by opening your Creator Studio, clicking “Create” in the menu on the left and selecting “Audio Library”.
Now the fun begins. By default, you start on the “Sound Effects” tab. Here you can search for sounds using the search bar like I did for motorcycle sounds in the screenshot below.
You can also switch by category (from human voices to weather sounds) or scroll through favorites you’ve marked in the past. For easy access later, select the star to add the title to your favorites. The bars next to the songs show how popular a song is.
If you switch to the Music bar, you can browse all of the royalty-free music. You won’t find the Beatles here, but you will find some good stuff – like exciting music, uplifting music, vacation music, jazz, and more. Instead of switching by category, you can switch by genre, mood, instrument, duration, etc.
(Note: Some of the music files contained there may have additional mapping requirements that you need to follow, but these are pretty clearly arranged song by song. For more information, see the YouTube support page here.)
When you find a title you like, click the arrow to download it. This is then downloaded directly to your computer as an MP3 file. Then you can do whatever you want with it.
If you want to provide sounds for your videos outside of YouTube, all you need to do is make sure that you follow all the rules for getting them. This YouTube support page provides best practices for sourcing audio and this page provides YouTube’s music guidelines.
11. Add customizations and creative effects with YouTube enhancements.
YouTube hid a number of features it was experimenting with at the same time – including annotations and a not-so-popular slideshow maker – but one editing tool that remains quite handy is improvements. Nine effects that you normally find in third-party video editing software can now be used natively through YouTube:
- Correct lighting and color automatically
- Stabilize shaky camera movements
- Apply slow motion
- Apply time lapse
- Cut out parts of your video
- Rotate the view
- Apply filter
- Custom blur
- Blurring faces
To improve an existing video: Click inside your video manager and find a video that you want to edit. Select the drop-down icon next to “Edit” to the right of the video and select “Improvements”.
Images via Filmora
If you’re editing on a computer, this button will open all nine tools to the right of your video. There you can add various corrections, filters, and blur effects and see how they change the final product in real time.
Note that not all enhancements are available on mobile devices. On Apple and Android smartphones and tablets, you can only crop, add music, and apply filters. Learn more about YouTube improvements in this article.
12. Play YouTube videos in the background on mobile devices.
Sometimes your own music playlist just doesn’t cut them. Or maybe you want to hear your favorite artist performing at an awards ceremony.
If you’ve tried listening to music on YouTube using your mobile device, you may have noticed one thing: you can’t navigate from within the app. You have to keep YouTube open and you cannot use your phone for any other purpose, to listen to something on YouTube. A little frustrating trying to multitask on your way home, right?
Now there are hacks out there that will allow you to listen to YouTube content in the background while still using your mobile device. Here’s what you do:
How to watch YouTube videos in the background: iOS
Open Safari on your mobile device and navigate to a video that you want to watch on https://www.youtube.com. Start playing the video you want to listen to, then tap the home button to close Safari. (I chose Katy Perry.)
Wischen Sie dann auf Ihrem Startbildschirm nach oben, um das Action Center anzuzeigen.
Wischen Sie dann nach links, um den zweiten Bildschirm in Ihrem Action Center anzuzeigen. Die Details des auf YouTube ausgewählten Videos sollten angezeigt werden. Tippen Sie von dort aus einfach auf Wiedergabe, um weiter zu jammen.
So schauen Sie sich YouTube-Videos im Hintergrund an: Android
Starten Sie Firefox oder Chrome auf Ihrem Mobilgerät und navigieren Sie zu einem Video, das Sie auf https://www.youtube.com abspielen möchten. Tippen Sie dann auf das Menü “Einstellungen” in der oberen rechten Ecke (die Ellipsen) und wählen Sie “Desktop-Site anfordern”.
Bild über DigitalTrends
Starten Sie dann das Video auf YouTube und tippen Sie auf die Schaltfläche “Startseite”, um zum Startbildschirm zurückzukehren. Das Audio wird weiterhin im Hintergrund abgespielt, wenn Sie andere Apps verwenden.
13. Sie können Videos live auf YouTube streamen.
Live-Streaming-Videos waren in den letzten Jahren ein großes Gesprächsthema. Insbesondere in den letzten Jahren ist mit dem Aufkommen der Live-Videos Periscope, Facebook Live und Instagram von Twitter ein massives Wachstum zu verzeichnen.
Das Erlernen des Live-Betriebs auf YouTube ist etwas komplexer (und verwirrender) als das Live-Streaming mit ähnlichen Plattformen. Bei der einfacheren Streaming-Option von YouTube gibt es keine einfache Schaltfläche “Starten”. Stattdessen müssen Sie die Codierungssoftware herunterladen und für die Verwendung von Live-Streaming einrichten. YouTube hat mehr als 13 Encoder identifiziert, die live verifiziert sind.
Wenn Sie jedoch ein Live-Event streamen, benötigen Sie lediglich eine Webcam. Wir werden gleich darauf zurückkommen.
Live-Stream von Ihrem Desktop-Computer
Melde dich bei YouTube an und klicke oben rechts auf dem Bildschirm auf die Schaltfläche “Hochladen”. Normalerweise laden Sie hier ein bereits vorhandenes Video hoch. Stattdessen möchten Sie das Modul “Live-Streaming” auf der rechten Seite Ihres Bildschirms finden. Klicken Sie in diesem Modul auf “Erste Schritte”.
Before you go live, YouTube will first confirm that your channel is verified and that you have no live stream restrictions in the last 90 days. Once that’s all set, you have two options for streaming: “Stream now” and “Live Events.”
Stream Now is the simpler, quicker option for live streaming, which is why it’s YouTube’s default for live streaming. You’ll see a fancy dashboard like the one below when you choose “Live Streaming” on the left-hand Creator Studio menu:
Again, you’ll notice there’s no “start” button on the dashboard. This is where you’ll need to open your encoder and start and stop your streaming from there. Here’s YouTube’s Live Streaming FAQ page for more detailed information.
Live Events gives you a lot more control over the live stream. You can preview it before it goes live, it’ll give you backup redundancy streams, and you can start and stop the stream when you want.
Choose “Live Events” from your live streaming dashboard once you’ve enabled it. Here’s what the events dashboard looks like, and you can learn more about it here.
When you stop streaming, we’ll automatically upload an archive of your live stream to your channel. Note that your completed live stream videos are automatically made public on your channel by default as soon as you’re done recording. To make them disappear from the public eye once you’re done, you can select “Make archive private when complete” in the “Stream Options” section of your live dashboard.
Live Stream From Your Mobile Device
YouTube has also rolled out live streaming from mobile devices for YouTube creators with 10,000 or more subscribers (as of the date of this posting — that will be available to all creators soon, according to YouTube’s blog post).
Live streaming is more intuitive from mobile devices than on desktop computers. Qualified creators can simply open their YouTube app on mobile, tap the camera icon at the top of the screen, and choose “Go Live.”
From there, creators can enter details about the broadcast before immediately recording live for their subscribers, as shown below:
Image via YouTube
For more instruction on how to go live on YouTube across devices, YouTube published a Help article here. Want to see what live videos others are recording on YouTube? You can browse popular YouTube videos that are live right now by clicking here.
14. You can upload and watch 360-degree videos (live and pre-recorded) — and in VR.
YouTube first announced its support for 360-degree videos back in March 2015, and it was a total novelty — not to mention a game-changer. Since then, brands, athletes, and other users have created some awesome 360-degree content, like this video from Samsung:
As you can see, the experience as a viewer is really, really cool. On desktop, you can click around the video to see all the different angles while the video plays. On mobile, it’s even cooler: You can move your camera around to change the angle. You can browse the trending 360-degree and VR videos here.
How to Create a 360-degree Video on YouTube
For this, you’ll need some serious equipment. Cameras with 360-degree capability that are compatible with YouTube are listed here on YouTube’s Support page, along with how to create and upload a 360-degree video file.
What about live video in 360 degrees? That announcement would come a year after the first one, in April 2016 — the very same week Facebook announced its own design for a 360-degree camera. Luckily for the folks at YouTube, it beat out Facebook by supporting both live video and 360-degree footage all at once.
How to Watch Any YouTube Video in VR
The Verge called 360 live-streamed videos “the gateway drug to virtual reality” for YouTube. Other than the YouTube website or app, you don’t need any fancy equipment to be able to watch a 360-degree live video and feel like you’re basically there.
That doesn’t mean a headset isn’t an option — and an awesome one at that, since YouTube released its Cardboard feature. Cardboard is available on any YouTube video you watch or upload, and works with Google Cardboard (an actual VR headset by Google) and several other VR headsets available today.
To use Cardboard while watching a YouTube video via mobile: Select any video in your YouTube mobile app, then tap the three dots in the upper-right hand corner of the video. In the drop-down, select “View in Cardboard.” You may already see this option visible in the bottom-right of 360-degree videos.
This will prompt you to connect your mobile device to a compatible VR device. Once you do, prepare for a stellar experience, and just imagine what this could mean for the content with which you populate your own YouTube channel.
15. YouTube ads target you based on an algorithm similar to Google and Facebook.
How does the YouTube algorithm decide which ads play on the videos you watch?
Turns out it works a lot like Google and Facebook ads do. Like on other free sites, the advertisers help fund the YouTube experience in return for exposure to ads. You’ll see certain ads over others because of your demographic groups, your interests (which is judged in part by what you search on Google and YouTube) and the content you’ve viewed before, including whether or not you’ve interacted with the advertiser’s videos, ads, or YouTube channel.
YouTube’s algorithms also try to make sure people aren’t overloaded with ads while watching videos — so it actually sometimes won’t show ads on monetizable videos, even when there’s a demographic match.
Here are the five ad formats you can expect to see on YouTube, and how they work:
A. Display ads, which show up next to the video and only appear only on desktop and laptop computers. The advertiser gets paid when you see or click on the ad, depending on their selection.
Image via YouTube’s Creator Academy
B. Overlay ads, which appear across the bottom 20% of the video window and currently only appears only on desktop and laptop computers. You can X out of the ad at any time.
Image via YouTube’s Creator Academy
C. TrueView in-stream, skippable video ads, which are most common ads. These are the ones you can skip after watching for five seconds. Advertisers can put it before, during (yikes!), or after the video plays, and they get paid only if you watch at least 30 seconds of the clip or to the end of the video ad — whichever comes first.
Image via YouTube’s Creator Academy
D. Non-skippable video ads, which are those longer, 15-or-more-second ads you see before plays and can’t skip after any period of time, no matter how much you shout at your screen.
Image via YouTube’s Creator Academy
E. Midroll ads, which are ads that are only available for videos over 15 minutes long that are spaced within the video like TV commercials. You need to watch the ad before continuing through the video. How the advertiser gets paid depends on the type of ad: If the midroll is a TrueView ad, you’d have to watch 30 seconds of the end or the entire ad — whichever is shorter. If it’s a CPM-based ad, you have to watch the entire ad no matter how long it is.
Image Credit: YouTube’s Creator Academy
F. Bumper ads, which are short, non-skippable ads up to six seconds long that play before the video the viewer has selected. Bumper ads are optimized for mobile devices and must be watched in their entirety before viewers can progress to the video they want to view.
16. You can remove ads from YouTube videos (and watch videos offline) for 10 bucks a month.
Video ads are the reason you can watch videos for free on YouTube. It’s a fact many of us have come to accept. But with YouTube’s subscription service YouTube Red, that doesn’t necessarily have to be true anymore.
For $9.99 a month, you can watch YouTube videos … without any ads. And, in addition to ad-free videos, you can save videos on your mobile device and watch them in the background and/or offline, and you can use YouTube’s Music App (on iOS and Android) in the background, offline, and/or on audio mode. This is not a drill.
You’d think the lure of ad-free videos would have caused more of an uproar since its launch in late 2015, especially given YouTube’s domination in the music space. Surprisingly, I haven’t heard much noise about it. But YouTube hasn’t disclosed subscriber numbers (the service reportedly has around 1.5 million subscribers) so it’s hard to tell how well it’s doing. Either way, it’s good to know about — especially if you like collecting songs and music videos like I do, but don’t like when they get broken up by ads.
17. You can use Google Trends to explore and compare popular YouTube search terms over time.
You might already use Google Trends to look at the popularity of specific search terms over time. (It can be a great marketing tool for making smarter keyword choices, for instance.) But did you know you can use it to compare the popularity of YouTube search queries, specifically?
All you have to do is open Google Trends and type a search term into the “Explore topics” search bar at the top. Once that page opens up, click on “Web Search” to open a drop-down menu, and choose “YouTube Search” so it filters by YouTube searches specifically.
You might find that, for some search terms, the search trends are very different on Google (above) than on YouTube (below).
18. There’s a ‘safer’ version of YouTube available for your kids.
Any parent will tell you how scary it is for their kids to theoretically have access to everything public on the internet. But for your younger kids, there are ways to curb that access and have more control of what they’re watching and finding — including a kids’ version of YouTube called YouTube Kids.
The folks at YouTube call YouTube Kids “a safer version of YouTube.” It’s not a wide-open library of online videos like YouTube is; instead, it uses filters powered by algorithms to select videos from YouTube that are safe for kids to watch. It’s also totally free, thanks to ads (which are regulated as carefully as possible).
You can either turn the search feature on or off, depending on whether you’re cool with your kids searching for videos themselves — or if you’d rather limit them to a certain set of videos selected by the app, along with those the app recommends based on what they’ve watched already. You can set a timer to limit how much time a child spends on the app, which is music to many parents’ ears.
The algorithm is darn good — remember, Google is YouTube’s parent company — but, as it warns in its parents’ guide, “no algorithm is perfect.”
19. You can now clear your YouTube History.
You might eventually want to delete items from your YouTube search or watch history. YouTube lets you completely clear your history, pause your history so it stops recording what you search for and watch from that point forward, or go through your history and delete certain videos.
To delete your history on your desktop or mobile device: Navigate to the “Watch History” menu. Here’s where it lives on your desktop browser homepage and in your mobile app, respectively:
From there, you can “clear all watch history” (permanently delete the record of everything you’ve watched), “pause watch history” (stop recording the videos you watch going forward), or individually remove videos from your history by tapping the X or ellipses next to videos. Here’s what it looks like on desktop and on mobile, below:
YouTube published a Help article if you need more instruction for deleting items from your YouTube watch history, too.
20. You can learn about YouTube’s copyrights terms from a cast of ridiculous puppets.
Made it this far? Here’s a little reward: YouTube’s “Copyrights Basics” FAQ page, which is, fittingly a YouTube video — and features a pretty colorful cast of characters. It’s actually super informative, and it looks like YouTube’s video team had a lot of fun making it.
My favorite line is probably, “You know there are links on this webpage, right? You don’t have to watch this.” Although the chorus of gorilla puppets was pretty great, too.
We hope we’ve opened your eyes to some of the more awesome YouTube hacks, tips, and features out there that you may not have known about. Now log on to YouTube and do some exploring yourself. The platform certainly isn’t going anywhere.
Originally published Oct 26, 2020 7:00:00 AM, updated October 26 2020