YouTube, the most popular video-sharing platform, gets 300 hours of video uploaded every minute. That’s 12 and half days’ worth of content uploaded every single minute! With that amount of stuff to watch, you’re bound to find hours upon hours of videos on topics you’re passionate about.
Considering YouTube isn’t the only thing you have going in your life, it’s good to be aware of just how much time you spend perusing content. Thanks to the feature named “Time watched”, now you’re able to do that.
While available on the YouTube app for Android and iOS smartphones, this feature can’t be accessed over the app’s version on your tablet. Additionally, Time Watched can’t be found on the platform’s web version, either. And, at this point, it’s not certain if it’ll ever be enabled.
Check the Time
To see how much time you’ve spent on YouTube videos, follow these three steps:
- Open the YouTube app on your smartphone.
- Tap the “Account” icon with your profile image in the upper right corner.
- Tap “Time watched”.
Here you can see your watch time for today, yesterday, and the past seven days. Another pretty useful statistic is your daily average, which can be an indicator of whether you’ve been spending too much time watching YouTube on a daily basis.
Please keep in mind, that if you’re using YouTube Music or YouTube TV, these times won’t be factored in the “Time Watched” feature. Besides this limitation, the watch times are calculated from all other YouTube products you’ve used to access the video content.
Things to Note
In order to allow YouTube to calculate your watch time, you have to be signed in to your account. That way, everything you watch is kept in your Watch History, which is the main database for the Time Watched feature. If you delete a video from your watch history, it won’t count in your watch time.
Also, any views recorded in Chrome’s Incognito mode, or any similar feature in other browsers, won’t count either. That traffic doesn’t get registered to your watch history because of the privacy security such modes provide.
One thing to consider when using this feature, is YouTube’s Autoplay option that automatically plays video after video. If you have it turned on and leave YouTube playing while you’re not watching the videos, all that will be included in your total watch time as well.
Also, Google points out that there’s a known issue existing in this feature. It affects the time watched on your computer, which isn’t reported correctly in Time Watched.
Besides the statistics mentioned above, this feature also gets a couple of other tools that can help you optimize your watch time.
Remind Me to Take a Break
This option allows you to set a reminder that will appear while watching videos. In order to effectively remind you to take a break. When the time comes, it will automatically pause the video for you.
Of course, it won’t force you to stop watching YouTube, since that wouldn’t be in the platform’s best interest. Because the reminder appears in the form of a notification, it goes away when you dismiss it or simply resume playing the video.
This feature uses a timer that counts the time only when watching YouTube on your smartphone. If you pause or close a video, it pauses the timer as well. In turn, the timer resets each time you close the YouTube app, sign out, switch devices, or pause the video for more than 30 minutes. The timer doesn’t work for offline videos, as well as when you’re casting from your smartphone to another device.
Autoplay Next Video On/Off
When you finish a video, another plays automatically. When choosing which video to play next, YouTube bases these recommendations on your watch history.
If connected to a mobile network, after 30 minutes of inactivity, Autoplay will stop. For Wi-Fi connections, the limit is four hours. Both of these limitations prevent you from either spending too much of your mobile internet or having your computer work for hours on end.
This feature takes all your daily push notifications that you would normally receive to your mobile device, and delivers them to you once a day. The default setting is at 7 PM, but you can change it to whichever time suits you the best.
Please note that while this feature works on both Android smartphones and tablets, it’s currently available only for iPhone, and not for iPad.
Disable Sounds & Vibrations
You can also set all your YouTube notifications to be silent, without distracting you with sounds and vibrations. You’re also able to choose the time when these will be silent, with the default setting having them turned off in the period between 10 PM and 8 AM.
Just so you’re aware, this feature won’t prevent notifications from getting to your device. Also, it doesn’t affect the upload notifications, which are delivered silently by default. And as with the Scheduled Digest, this won’t work on your iPad as well.
Keep Your Watch Time in Check
Having so much content to view on YouTube, the Time Watched feature is a pretty good addition. It helps you track how much time you actually spend on videos each day. And if you accidentally get carried away with cooking tips or watching how the internal combustion engine works on the inside, you can have the app remind you it’s maybe time to hit that stop button.
Do you find this feature useful? Were you aware of how much time you spend on YouTube each day? Care to share your daily average? If so, please leave a comment in the section below.