Today YouTube released a new feature: annotations. I can only imagine how this is going to improve the quality of those videos already on YouTube.
The annotations feature is just like it sounds. You can add thought bubbles and call outs to the videos. It’s really easy to do as well. There are some catches, thank goodness.
- You can only annotate videos you uploaded. This is good. Can you imagine if you could annotate any video?
- The annotations only show up on YouTube’s site and not in embedded video. This is actually a great way to drive even more traffic to YouTube, but something you need to keep in mind when annotating.
Annotations could be used rather effectively for education and more in-depth information on a topic. I often search for “how to” videos. However, I tend to search Vimeo and Viddler.
I often find (and this isn’t necessarily accurate) that more professionally produced videos end up on the other options, and, with notable exceptions, some crazy or poorly produced stuff ends up on YouTube. I’m guilty of this myself. My YouTube channel consists of concert footage and Peabody ducks. I worry that while annotations have the potential to be an awesome feature, it will mostly be used for “hey look at her butt!” or some other lovely sentiment. You see where I’m going with this.
However, this is a pretty nifty video about how the annotations work.