YouTube is testing a feature that enables more exact video progress bar scrubbing by employing thumbnail previews as part of the standard platform experiments for users with the Premium tier.
What makes this different from the present approach, which displays a little thumbnail when you tap and drag along the playing progress bar, you might be wondering. According to this most recent experiment, grabbing the red dot playback progress indicator when viewing a YouTube video can be improved by swiping upward to display time-specific video thumbnails. Dragging the playback dot should make YouTube’s already simple video scrubbing even simpler.
To view the video thumbnails while watching a video, locate the red dot on the progress bar and swipe up.
In this mode, you can swipe between the thumbnails or drag the red dot to move to the exact section of the video you wish to watch.
To view the video in its entirety, tap the play button.
Simply hitting the play button when you have identified the exact section of a video that you want to watch will resume from that point. To let you know exactly which section of a clip you have selected, the thumbnail for that particular timecode will also flash. Below is a simple illustration of how this functionality would operate.
It’s unclear if this more accurate video scrubbing option will be made more generally available after the test time has expired, as is the case with practically all YouTube tests. Up until July 27, subscribers to YouTube Premium can test out the feature; beyond that, nothing is known.