16 December 2010

New “Watch later” feature for embedded YouTube videos

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 is experimenting with something similar, only for videos! I noticed the new feature on a video shared in : 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.YouTube new Watch later button

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.YouTube Watch Later playlist on site

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 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.


  1. We love the idea of letting things happen later, time warping is very popular these days.

  2. Hi! This is pretty cool. I found a chrome extension for YouTube the other day that alerts you when new videos are posted, it would be cool if watch later videos could show up on that list too.
    Thanks for the share!

  3. I think it's a stupid feature, I wouldn't be on youtube watching videos in the first place if I didn't have time to watch some short clips. Over complication of websites can lead to their demise (ie, myspace)

    1. It's mostly useful for longer videos that you don't have the time to watch the instant you find them, or if you discover other videos while watching the current one. You can add them to this 'Watch later' list, sort of like building a temporary playlist.
      In the mean time it's available for embedded videos as well.