YouTube creators can now add a three-second intro to all of their videos using a new feature introduced by YouTube.
The feature, which is the latest addition to YouTube’s InVideo Programming system, allows users to upload a short 3-second clip, and have it play automatically before every video on your channel.
If you’re struggling to understand what use this new feature is, you’re not alone. Not only does using the feature directly contradict the great advice given in the YouTube Creator Playbook to minim ize branding and captivate the audience in the first few seconds, but the writer of the blog post announcing the feature also made the grave error of referring to The Simpsons in his announcement:
“Everyone knows the power of a good introduction. Imagine watching The Simpsons without its iconic opening sequence. Wouldn’t be the same, would it?”
That may be correct, but only because it changes every episode. If that was not the case, the viewer would completely ignore it, just as they do for the intro of every other television program.
For anyone getting any bright ideas about using the intro for advertising or sponsorship don’t bother – YouTube has already banned it. They also note that channels that advertise on YouTube (like Alex Day’s) should avoid this feature entirely – Presumably because the intro will play before your actual advertisement, wasting 3 of the 5 seconds you have to captivate the audience before they have the option to skip your ad.
Though it seems completely useless, the intro feature will still make for an interesting addition to the InVideo Programming system. To set it up, simply upload a video less than 3-seconds long, make it unlisted, click the ‘add a branding intro’ button on the InVideo Programming page, and select your video. Simple.
It remains to be seen whether users will be able to disable the branding intro based on their preferences, in the same way other InVideo features are removed when annotations are turned off.
It also proves that YouTube are actively working on new feature for InVideo Programming, which has great promise and has already led to huge improvements in watch time and engagement for many users.
Now, all I want to know is: When are they going to introduce a programmatic end-slate, which automatically populates your previous/next video in pre-defined areas of a custom outro video? Now, THAT would be interesting!