YouTube has unveiled a new tool, Video Annotations, which, according to YouTube, allows creators to:
- Add background information about the video
- Create stories with multiple possibilities (viewers click to the next scene)
- Link to related YouTube videos, channels, or search results from within a video
Annotations are only available in English and don’t work with embedded videos at this point, but you can see them being put to use in this skydiving video, magic card trick and this interactive shell game.
There are other companies such as Asterpix and Videoclix offering more robust versions of interactive video, but YouTube’s adoption brings these tools to the masses. Now you can know the backstory of that piano-playing cat, and we could be on the verge of a rebirth of choose-your-own-adventure stories (do you want the skater to get kicked or punched in the nuts?).
As Jackson points out over on Valleywag, the bummer about this program is that creators can only link out to other YouTube videos, eliminating the possibility of interactive product placement.
But for everyday people who want to add a little more to their vacation videos, this should be a lot of fun.