YouTube launches slow motion video function

YouTube has revealed its new feature — a minor slow motion function that the video-sharing site hopes will become a major viral hit.

Users can apply the slow motion filter — found in the Enhancements toolbox or the YouTube Editor — to any existing video. The final product: "A smooth, slomo video that makes it look like it was filmed with a high-speed camera," software engineer Eron Steger wrote in a blog post.

YouTube showed off its new feature in a before-and-after set of videos (after video above) of New York City's Times Square.

The videos provide little action, aside from a man traipsing past the camera and taxis stopped in traffic; even the glittering lights don't seem to do much in slow motion. However, one user-made video, posted in the blog's comments section, shows a Boeing 737 landing on a runway, at 12.5 per cent of the original speed.

Slow motion already has a home on YouTube, thanks in part to the incredibly popular The Slow Mo Guys channel, which carries more than two million subscribers, all watching things collapse, burst and explode in slow motion.

The Google-owned video site recently commemorated eight years of sneezing pandas and 8-bit flying cats, boasting more than 100 hours of video uploaded every minute.

In March, YouTube reached a major milestone by topping one billion monthly users, which it celebrated recently by launching a new paid channels service. The system is aimed at providing content creators another means by which to earn revenue.