Web

YouTube silently rolls out episode listings for original programming

youtube episode guide feature

YouTube is undoubtedly showing signs of heeding the needs of its original programming channels. Digital Trends has noticed a notable change on the video pages for episodic series that should make browsing YouTube that much more convenient.

youtube episode guide feature close upThe silently introduced feature, known to YouTube’s source code as “watch context,” enables users to browse through a list of the episodes in a series. The feature can be found within a box on the top right corner, above “Suggestions” on a video’s page. In the example above, only two subsequent episodes are listed, with a header identifying the show’s season number. The bottom of the box displays a link that leads to the show’s main page, listing all episodes available.

Before the introduction of this feature, content creators have been adding URLs of other episodes in the body of the video’s description, or including annotations at the end of each video typically through an in-video link. Otherwise, if a link to the next episode was not included, viewers would have to manually search for relevant episodes or hope they appear under recommended videos.

From what we can tell, the “watch context” box only accompanies an episodic series. Of course, this feature was built for the specific purpose of navigating one series at a time, but the decision to add a new feature exclusively for web series begs us to wonder if it’s foreshadowing the future of YouTube. How many other native features made just for original programming channels and relevant videos are currently in the works?

It isn’t news that YouTube is cautiously evolving into an original programming hub. But in our opinion, it’s seems Google has been reluctant to design an interface that would be devoted to the needs of its channel partners — at least not in one fell swoop. YouTube’s existing interface can be best described as a jack-o- all-trades; it meets the basic needs for viewing original programming and non-Web series videos. The design is made to ensure all content creators and their products are visible on YouTube. New features such as playlists and episode guides are just some of what YouTube has introduced to benefit both viewers and creators.

While the “watch context” box should come as a blessing to YouTube users, at the end of the day, it’s still about revenue for Google. Advertisers are generally more attracted to premium content, and will pay premium dollars for placement within episodes. With these motivations, new features like the episode guide will contribute to maximizing time spent on continuously watching premium content. We will expect more add-ons that will keep users hooked on YouTube to pop up in the near future.

Web

Gmail adds lots of new functionality to its right-click menu

Right-click on an email in Gmail and the list of actions is pretty limited. That's about to change, though, as Google has just announced it's expanding the list of options to make its email client that little bit more useful.
Movies & TV

J.J. Abrams wraps production on Star Wars: Episode IX with a heartfelt message

Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams has wrapped production on Star Wars: Episode IX, which he directed and co-wrote. Here's everything we know about the movie before it premieres in December 2019.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Apple versus news industry, Alexa Skills, and the OGarden

On Episode 65 of Digital Trends Live, hosts Greg Nibler and Luke Larsen broke down the biggest new stories from the world of tech, including Apple's feud with news publishers, the OGarden, and more.
Home Theater

Netflix vs. Hulu vs. Amazon Prime: Battle of the on-demand streaming giants

Trying to figure out which subscription streaming service to use while sticking to a frugal entertainment budget? Check out our updated comparison of the big three: Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, and Hulu.
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.
Computing

Tired of paying a monthly fee for Word? The best Microsoft Office alternatives

Looking for a competent word processor that isn't Microsoft Word? Thankfully, the best alternatives to Microsoft Office offer robust features, expansive compatibility, and an all-too-familiar aesthetic. Here are our favorites.
Social Media

Instagram test reveals direct messages may be coming to browsers

Instagram for the web has always been a minimalist affair compared to the feature-rich smartphone app, but in the last few years that's started to change. The latest news is that Instagram is considering adding direct messages.
Computing

File Transfer Protocol explained: What FTP is and what it does

FTP stands for "File Transfer Protocol," and it's used to transfer files online. Most internet users don't need it, but web developers use it constantly. Here's what FTP is, how it works, and how you can get started using it.
Computing

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

Making a GIF from a YouTube video is easier today than ever, but choosing the right tool for the job isn't always so simple. In this guide, we'll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with our two favorite online tools.
Computing

Lose the key for your favorite software? These handy tools can find it for you

Missing product keys getting you down? We've chosen some of the best software license and product key finders in existence, so you can locate and document your precious keys on your Windows or MacOS machine.
Computing

From beautiful to downright weird, check out these great dual-monitor wallpapers

Multitasking with two monitors doesn't necessarily mean you need to split your screens with two separate wallpapers. From beautiful to downright weird, here are our top sites for finding the best dual-monitor wallpapers for you.
Computing

Miss Flash? It's not dead yet. Here's how to enable it in Chrome

Want to know how to enable Flash in Chrome? You need to jump through a couple of hoops but it's far from difficult. Just visit your favorite Flash site and follow these instructions and you'll be enjoying Flash content in no time.
Computing

Breaking: Amazon won’t build headquarters in New York in face of opposition

Amazon has canceled plans for a New York City headquarters afer citizens, civic groups, and politicians pushed back on Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's exclamation of economic joy over Amazon's earlier…
Web

Are you one of the billions who have watched these super-popular YouTube videos?

Viral videos can quickly garner millions upon millions of views, but even they fall well behind the view counts on the most watched YouTube videos ever. Those have been watched billions of times.