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June 4, 2008

YouTube Annotations

YouTube added a new feature for video creators: annotations. "Video Annotations are a new way for you to add interactive commentary to your videos. Use them to add background information about the video, create stories with multiple possibilities (viewers click to choose the next scene) or link to related YouTube videos, channels, or search results from within a video."


You can add annotations by going to the list of uploaded videos and clicking on "Edit annotations" or by visiting one of your videos while you are logged in. There are three types of annotations that can be added while playing the video: speech bubbles, notes and spotlights, as you can see in the screenshot above.


Here's a live example of interactivity that can be added to a YouTube video (also notice the updated embeddable player that looks the same as the player from YouTube's site). The following short video:


can be transformed into a much more engaging content with clickable annotations that point to other videos. For now, only video creators can add annotations, but it would be nice to allow any user to comment on a specific moment from a video (a la Viddler) or to add funny speech bubbles.

{ Thanks, Dan. }

54 comments:

  1. The embedded version didn't show any annotations for me but it worked on the youtube site.

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  2. @Frederik:
    Yes, I know. That was the point of embedding the video: to show the difference between the original video and the enhanced version with annotations.

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  3. wow - now i can embed into my video a link to my favorite video response

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  4. Nice idea. It could be used to subtitle a video too. ;)

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  5. I'm surprised it can't be done in Google Videos too?

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  6. Now we need on-screen comments like on Niconico Douga?

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  7. Great new option. Would be even better if you could add links to websites outside YouTube (e.g. deeplinks to products in webshops, lyrics or tabs of songs, links to extended versions that didn't fit in the 10 minute-limit of YouTube...).

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  8. The video annotation could be distracting to the viewers if it is done poorly.

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  9. No annotations on the embedded videos? That really blows..

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  10. Here's a good how-to video on YouTube Annotations http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=XXtwUrKwK3g

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  11. There is no point if you can only annotate your own videos. The fun is in annotating others' stuff. That's the whole damn point of all this: interactivity. I can annotate when I create my videos. So, to annotate I have to download a youtube video someone else posted and repost it as my own and then annotate it.
    SILLY

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  12. For subtitles /comments and captions there is TubeCaption.com http://tubecaption.com

    You can easy add your subtitles using the editor.

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  13. Actually there are a lot of video groups that are doing "interactive video." YouTube is just dipping their toes in the water. Check out www.veeple.com. They allow you to not only annotate your videos but also add interactive images from your computer, make any object in your video linkable to any outside website and you can move your spot, your link or annotation around the screen in real-time, link to a MySpace or Facebook page, let others annotate your video, and on and on, pretty cool! They are more of a lab where people can come play than a competitor to YouTube (they have very low traffic) but they are doing some neat interactive stuff.

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  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  15. Annotation space is getting hot. As a developer, I can't live without protonotes

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  16. bubbleply.com has a much better annotation tool than youtube that has better functionality and features and works on embeds and let's you do it many languages.

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  17. coole youtube annotation video


    Google dance Music
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jN-MC1o4Tas

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  18. I loved this new YouTube feature. I couldnt resist myself to write blog on this.
    http://newtechnicalstuff.blogspot.com/2008/06/youtube-annotation.html

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  19. Interesting, and with the video stats YouTube is improving the user experience.

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  20. These guys came up with a great way to use annotations, and it's hysterical too.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqujFiwL5cs

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  21. What happened to the music that could be added through the annotation feature? Non-copyrighted music could be added without re-uploading the video...

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  22. This is an interactive short film using annotations...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZzlezxLu7s

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  23. My god those annotation are annoying. They should be disabled BY DEFAULT.

    Not only 99.9% of comments on youtube are just plain retarded, now we get to endure that.

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  24. I use the annotations all the time but would like to make links that open in new windows available as well.

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  25. I like the annotation feature. Direct linking to other sites would be nice too! :)

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  26. can we add a link to our site from youtube video?

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  27. i also want to know is there any way to get traffic to our site by youtube videos??

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  28. Because I didn't know what it was, I clicked on the screen of a video I uploaded and accidentally put in a temporary box that says 'Enter Text Here'. Now, every time someone watches the video, that comes up and I don't know how to get it off permanently! Anyone have any idea how I can get rid of it?

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  29. It would be awesome if we could add links to any pages outside YouTube.

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  30. I truly hate these annotations. I turn them off as soon as they start pooping up... oops I mean popping up. I wish I could disable them ALL FOREVER.

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  31. hello could someone please tell me how to make the option on off on my videos because i did it accidentally and know i don't want people writing crap all over the place thank you very much

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  32. on the annotations sorry i really need help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  33. This is how I figured out how to disable annotations...

    http://www.tech-recipes.com/rx/3965/youtube-turn-off-text-or-annotations-for-videos/

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  34. I must agree with Kee!!

    I would love to be able to add an active link on my video that would send to my website or my myspace for exemple.

    Is there a way to do that??

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  35. I would like add an active link on videos too,but currently I think we have no way to do that...

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  36. Brilliant, sometimes they can be annoying and if overused also a bit annoying, but overall, great post :D

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  37. I think they have to add the ability to link to outside, but they don't do it for a reason.

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  38. It would be awesome if we could add links to any pages outside YT

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  39. I want to put a annotation using youtube options and how do I make it so my annotations stays on the video until its done playing so it doesn't disappear after a few seconds?

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  40. how do you get rid of an Annotations because i just messed up my video with it?

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  41. Ok YouTube was working just fine a few days back, when i went to watch a video i got this error message Hello, you either have JavaScript turned off or an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player. document.write('Hello, you either have JavaScript turned off or an old version of Adobe\'s Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.'); "Hello, you either have JavaScript turned off or an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player".

    So i re-installed my java and my flash player, i have the latest browser, i have tried Google chrome, IE (internet explorer) and Firefox. And i still fail to be able to watch videos on YouTube, but watching the videos through www.google.com/video works perfectly fine.


    This tells me that YouTube has massive script problems probably linking to the channel updates not long ago, also i cannot veiws my comments personal message or freind invites. The 'more info' option does not work either.

    Please fix this!

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  42. They are irritating and pointless, unless they redirect folks to outside sites....

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  43. so nice. greatttt! i don`t find them irritating.

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  44. You Tube annotations are excellent - and also great for making the video more interactive and accessible to others.

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  45. OK,It's a great idea, but I have to say that sometimes those annotations really made me crazy~~~

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  46. So if I were to use this on my site, could I make a video review of a Google TV box, for example, and then use this to link to other portions of my website as well? Or do the links have to direct to other youtube videos?

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  47. Thanks to this, I don't have to add text with WindowsMovieMaker to my video. Would be cool to add hyperlinks in the video as well.

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  48. Annotations don't always have to be so bold, ugly, and annoying. They can be elegantly embedded into a video for navigation purposes. Here's a great example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGRMIcoTFqY

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  49. I use the annotations all the time but would like to make links that open in new windows available as well.

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  50. It really works. You can add links in your high views videos of your low views videos. Yeah.

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  51. This is a great example of video annotations. It was made by Time Out and it's a comedy movie quiz!

    http://youtu.be/KyKm_AjUfrg

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  52. I think that write annotations on the video is very cool and useful, but it could be also annoying for the viewers if you put a lot of them on one single video

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  53. How do I add annotations via YouTube API?

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  54. I tried to do an annotation. It looked like it was on the video, but everytime I play the video it is not there. When I go edit it I see it there. What am I doing Wrong

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