How to create a URL that sends people to a specific time in a YouTube video

I had a student this week who wanted to create a newspaper web refer that linked to an online video of a girl singing. Getting the video link wasn’t the problem, the issue was that the video was pretty long and the girl didn’t come on until the 6-minute mark. She wondered if there was a way to send people directly to that starting point.

My first inclination was, since it was a video made by the broadcast staff here, to tell her to have the video team cut the video down to what she needed and post it.

Before opening my mouth though, I tried one thing first and was glad I did. We went to the video on YouTube and I right-clicked on the timeline at the point she wanted and a series of options came up. One of those options was “Copy video URL at current time.” We selected that, tried it out and it worked perfectly.

Don’t believe me? Test it out for yourself. Here’s a link I made for the new Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker trailer using the method described above. If you click the link, you should come to the point in the trailer right before Lando starts laughing.

Aaron Manfull

Aaron is in his 26th year of advising student media. He is currently the Director of Student Media at Francis Howell North High School in St. Charles, Missouri. He is the Journalism Education Association Digital Media Chair and co-Director of Media Now. He is the 2023 JEA Teacher Inspiration Award Winner and is a former Dow Jones News Fund National Journalism Teacher of the Year. He is one of the authors of the textbook "Student Journalism and Media Literacy." You can find him on X and Instagram @manfull. He's a proud father. A transplanted Iowan. And an avid Hawkeye Fan.

Aaron Manfull has 868 posts and counting. See all posts by Aaron Manfull

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