YouTube Adds Visuals and Multi-Language Results to Search

Google’s YouTube revealed a plan to release improvements to its search functionality that will use visual appeal to provide a better sense of what videos contain, making it easier and more efficient for users to find their desired video content. In the YouTube app, both the Android and iOS versions, users will be able to see a snippet of video rather than a mere thumbnail while scrolling through the content. A section below the videos will also show all chapters, if relevant, enabling the user to click on a specific chapter of the video.

Android Police reports that YouTube will also “start to show results in other languages with automatically translated captions, titles, and descriptions,” with the aim of exposing users to “a wider variety of topics than they otherwise might have if they were only able to view videos in their native language.”

In India and Indonesia, the company is also testing YouTube surface web links and Google Search snippets in video searches, which “might be expanded to include more countries in the near future.” In terms of when the upgrades will appear, it notes that, “Android versions as far back as 16.28.36 are already showing chapters in search results for some, so it’s likely this will be handled server-side.”

Director of product management Pablo Paniagua notes on the YouTube Blog that, “people told us that they’d like easier ways to see what a video is about on YouTube before diving into the actual content,” which is why it made the search page “even more visual.”

“Now, you’ll be able to make even more informed decisions about what you’re going to watch through video chapters directly in the search page,” Paniagua explains. “When available, these time-stamped images detail the different topics covered in videos and let you better evaluate the video you’re about to watch.” He adds that it is “rolling a version of this out to mobile to help you easily preview different videos and decide if it’s what you’re looking for.”

By showing search results in other languages “with automatically translated captions, titles and descriptions when relevant … someone in Thailand can learn about quantum physics from a professor at MIT or viewers in Brazil can explore the Grand Canyon from home, with captions in their local language.”

YouTube will start by “supplementing search results with English videos” and then plans “to expand to more languages.”

Chief product officer Neal Mohan noted that, “YouTube’s enormous library of content has always set us apart as a platform … But we know viewers need to easily find the videos they’re looking for, and quickly access the information they need.”

He added that YouTube is “excited to share the latest technology to help you find what you’re looking for, from how-tos to DIYs. This complements the work we’re doing to raise videos from authoritative sources when people come to YouTube looking for news and health information.”