YouTube Introduces Video Annotations

Jun 4th, 2008 | By | Category: General, Streaming Video, Video

youtube.jpgYouTube has announced a new feature for videos on the site – annotations.

Video Annotations are a new way for you to add interactivity to your videos. You can use them to:

  • Add background information about the video;
  • Create stories with multiple possibilities (ala Choose Your Own Adventure); and
  • Link to related YouTube videos, channels, or search results from within a video.

Annotations, once published, are shown by default. You can turn them off while watching a video through the player menu—just click the button on the bottom right of the video player.

Here’s an example of the sort of things you can do with annotations:

Here’s how you can create and edit video annotations:
How do I create or edit video annotations?

To get started, log into your YouTube account and go to the Video Annotations page.

  1. Start playing your video, if it’s not already playing using the “Preview” button.
  2. At the moment you want to add an annotation, click on the appropriate “+” icon on the top left corner. You can add annotations that are Speech Bubbles, Notes, or Spotlights with text.
  3. Enter your text. You can edit your annotation on the video itself:
    1. Edit text as you type;
    2. Drag and drop annotations anywhere you want;
    3. To resize an annotation, roll over the edge until you see little dots. Click and drag the dots to resize. A speech bubble has an additional resizing dot on the pointer.
  4. You can see all your annotations listed on the left side. Here you have advanced editing options:
    1. You can add a URL link to your annotation. It could be a link to either a specific YouTube Video, or a user Channel, or a YouTube Search result page.
    2. You can change the time both start and finish, manually. An annotation’s default start time is when you click to add it (“+” icon). The default end time is 5 seconds later. To change this, just enter the start and finish times you want in [H:MM:SS.s] format. For instance, [0:01:05.2] means 1 minute, 5.2 seconds into the video.
    3. You can delete annotations from the list on the left. Click [x] on the upper right corner of the annotation you want to delete.

Note: Video annotations are currently a “beta” feature. Yahoo plans to add support for languages other than English, embeds, and full-screen playback.

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No Responses to “YouTube Introduces Video Annotations”

  1. taniaelis says:

    This is a cool addition.

    I could see this being used to do Mystery Science Theater-style comments, political critiques (adding links to where politicians contradict themselves, for example), serialized stories, or shows where you get to choose the segments that you watch.

    I wish you could link off-site, but that would probably turn this into a spamming tool.

  2. […] YouTube has added video annotations, click here to see how they work and to play an interactive shell […]

  3. Patrick says:

    This is an interactive animated short film using Youtube annotations…

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