YouTube is experimenting with Twitter-esque Community Notes

The YouTube logo appears on a phone on top of a keyboard
(Image credit: SOPA Images / Getty Images)

YouTube has announced it's experimenting with a new feature that allows users to append contextual notes to videos. 

First spotted by Techopedia, the notes experiment is similar to the Community Notes tool that somehow still exists on Elon Musk's X platform. 

Both YouTube's experiment and the Community Notes on X allow users to add additional context to content posted on the platforms. For example, it could be used to point out the clip is misrepresenting older footage as more recent or to point out when a video is meant to be a parody or comedic. 

Viewers will be able to provide feedback on the notes as well. The company says that users will be able to tell YouTube if the note is helpful and why. They can point out if the note utilizes accurate sources or unbiased language. 

Like all things YouTube, the notes will be fed into an algorithm to determine if the note is useful.

"If many people who have rated notes differently in the past now rate the same note as helpful, then our system is more likely to show that note under a video," YouTube said in a blog about the experiment. "These systems will continuously improve as more notes are written and rated across a broad range of topics."

It looks like the experiment will be a slow rollout. To start, various creators will be asked to write notes for the algorithm. 

The company didn't provide a strict timeline but in the "coming weeks and months" they said that viewers in the U.S. will start to see notes on various videos. During the initial run YouTube will be using "third-party evaluators" to rate the helpfulness of notes. 

I believe that the Community Notes on Twitter are very helpful. They do add a lot of context to things, especially since that platform lets people say...whatever they want.

It's unclear in this moment how it might be helpful on YouTube. One example the company provided was for a video titled "15 Extinct animals you should know" which feature Giant Tortoises. The appended note points out that some Giant Tortoises were actually found living in the Galapagos recently... so they aren't actually extinct.

YouTube doesn't say if the Notes feature will work on the Shorts videos. For many YouTube creators, Shorts are very different posting animal, but Notes could be a way to add context to the clips that get shoved into that section of the platform.

More from Toms Guide

Scott Younker
West Coast Reporter

Scott Younker is the West Coast Reporter at Tom’s Guide. He covers all the lastest tech news. He’s been involved in tech since 2011 at various outlets and is on an ongoing hunt to build the easiest to use home media system. When not writing about the latest devices, you are more than welcome to discuss board games or disc golf with him.