YouTube has just added a new feature that will allow people to create videos with annotations. What they mean by annotations is a way for people to add interactive commentary to their videos. On the YouTube page that runs-through what it’s all about, they explain how people can use them:

  • To add background information about the video
  • Create stories with multiple possibilities (viewers click to choose the next scene)
  • Link to related YouTube videos, channels, or search results from within a video

This feature really opens up the doors of opportunity for users who create videos to add something more and make them stand out. The process of adding the interactive commentary is pretty simple as well, and they run through the process of how to do it here. There are two different ways to do it and once someone adds annotations, they’ll be shown to viewers by default.

YouTube has provided a few examples of videos that have commentary added, but unfortunately they disabled the option to embed them. Click here to see an “Interactive card trick.” They used commentary to explain what was going on in the magic trick, and it actually turned out really good. Below is a screenshot of the video which shows the commentary, just note that it’s not actually a video that can be watched.

interactive card trick on youtube.png

There are a few downsides to this feature which include that it’s only available in English, there’s no option to embed videos, and full-screen playback isn’t an option either. It is in beta though, and we expect that these limitations will be removed in the future.