How to Use the New Slow Motion Feature in YouTube

A staggering 72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, and more and more of it is being tweaked, trimmed and remixed with the free YouTube video editor. Yesterday, Google announced a new feature that it added to YouTube – slow motion effects.

So, where do you find the new slow motion effects in YouTube, and how do you use them with your videos? Well, start by visiting and choosing one of your videos to apply the effect to. Once it is in the editor timeline, hover over the thumbnail of the video with your mouse until you see the magic wand icon. Click on it to access the various effects that can be applied to your video.

YouTube Slow Motion Editor

In the window that opens, you will see an option that lets you apply a slow motion effect to your video. In essence, this just adjusts the playback speed to be slower than you originally recorded it. You can set speeds to 50%, 25%, or 12.5% of the original speed. It would be very effective for a slow motion replay, or adding a touch of additional drama to your video. Once you have added all the effects you want, click Done, and then Publish to create a new version of your video that uses the slow motion effect.

Applying Slow Motion Effects in YouTube

Of course, you don’t have to use the YouTube editor to apply the effect if you don’t want to. You can go to your Video Manager, click the dropdown Edit menu next to the video you want to apply slow motion to, and select Enhancements. This takes you to an editing screen that looks a lot like the YouTube editor, but with a slightly different user interface. From here, you click on the turtle icon to choose your speed and apply the slow motion effect.

Slow Motion from the Enhancements menu

What’s the difference between the two? The editor will keep your original video intact and publish your edited video as a new video. If you apply slow motion effects through the enhancements menu, you are changing the original video, and not creating a copy, UNLESS you click the dropdown arrow next to the Save button and choose Save as.

Overall, the effect works pretty well. This is not a professional movie quality effect, but considering that you probably didn’t use a high speed camera to shoot your footage, this simulated effect is good enough. Just be aware that any audio you have will also be slowed down. This can be nice at times for comic effect, but you may want to choose to mute the audio of slow motion clips and your own background music for more serious or dramatic moments! 🙂

I could easily see teachers using this in Science to slow down a video of a fast moving chemical reaction, or in PE where coaches want to do a slow motion analysis of a golf swing, springboard dive, or a high jump. An example video from YouTube of Times Square (slowed to 12.5%) can be seen below.