If you find an interesting article, but lack the time to read it immediately, you can choose from a large number of solutions to save it for later: from generic ones, like browser bookmarks, to tools built specifically for this, like ‘Read It Later’. Now YouTube is experimenting with something similar, only for videos! I noticed the new feature on a video shared in Google Reader: it’s a simple button on the upper right corner, labeled ‘Watch later’. While creating queues was possible on the main YouTube page for years, videos embedded on third-party pages didn’t have that option.
At first glance, the button doesn’t seem to do much. Only later, after looking through the playlists, where nothing new is listed, I noticed the videos are added to a playlist bar on the bottom of the page named, unsurprisingly, ‘Watch Later’. It works just like any other playlist, so you can play, shuffle or remove videos. There is even a new entry for ‘Watch Later’ in the ‘Add’ menu that appears while hovering over a video on YouTube. The only missing option right now is to completely clear the playlist, which could be very useful after you collect a big number of videos.
The feature is probably still being tested, because I don’t see the new button on all embedded videos. It’s also not featured on the new homepage, although the old one has a module for it, that seems to malfunction: users are reporting on the Google forums that videos cannot be removed from this module. Nevertheless, it’s an easy way to build playlists without visiting the website, while at the same time an incentive for users to stay logged in to YouTube – and Google by extension –, as the new button on embedded videos only appears while logged in.