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(Pocket-lint) - YouTube is introducing a new feature: Clips. This feature is currently in testing but essentially allows you to take a YouTube video or live stream and cut it down into shorter clips that you can share. Here's everything you need to know about how clips work on YouTube. 

What are YouTube clips?

Google-owned YouTube said both creators and viewers have wanted an easy way to capture short segments of videos or streams so that they can share them with others. As a result, it is now testing a clipping feature on YouTube, starting 28 January 2021 - but initially only with a small group of creators to start. It's now been rolled out to many more channels and creators since then. 

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Have you ever watched a 30-minute-long or however long video on YouTube and laughed at a 10-second moment in it? Before, you'd have to send the entire YouTube video, perhaps with the exact timestamp embedded in the URL, so that you could get others to experience joy with you. But that's cumbersome. You know what's better? Simply splicing out the funny bit and sharing it far and wide across your favourite social networks. You can do that with YouTube clips. 

How do you create and share YouTube clips?

Creators and viewers can create YouTube clips by simply clicking on the new clips icon that is between the thumbs down button and the share button below the video player. Keep in mind the feature is currently limited to desktop, iPhone and Android devices. Follow the steps below: 

  1. Open YouTube (either app or desktop site) - make sure you're signed in
  2. Start watching a video
  3. If Clips is available you'll see a 'Clips' icon in the bar beneath the video
  4. Select it and then select a section of the video you want to clip 
  5. Give the clip a title and click 'Share Clip' 
  6. Choose either Social network, embedding, email or copy to select your preferred method of sharing

YouTube clips can be anywhere from five seconds long to 60 seconds. When you trim a video or live stream YouTube will generate a new URL address for the clip. You can copy, embed, or send the clip via social media such as Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit. You can even email it.

Want to test clipping yourself?

You can learn more here and try out clipping for yourself on this video! Just remember it's limited to select creators right now on desktop and Android.

Can I switch Clips off on my channel? 

Yes you can. Just log in to your YouTube Studio page at studio.youtube.com, select 'Settings', then 'Channel' and 'Advanced Settings'. Under 'Clips' you'll see an option that says 'Don't allow viewers to clip my content'. Select that, and clips will be disabled on your videos.

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Want to give feedback?

YouTube is asking testers to submit feedback using the link here. It plans to update this post when it has new information to share on the availability of clips.

Writing by Maggie Tillman. Editing by Cam Bunton.
Sections Google YouTube Apps