YouTube’s newest feature: “video annotations” that let producers add chat bubbles and links to their videos.
Like the video on YouTube, the chat bubbles could either be hilarious or stupid. But the links could actually be useful: YouTube’s blog specifically mentions using links to “branch” together multiple “choose your own adventure” type videos, a hot YouTube trend.
Google (GOOG) also benefits here: The more links viewers click on, the more pageviews and ad impressions it gets. (For now, you can only link to other YouTube pages.)
Our first impression: It’s nice, but not perfect. Clicking within a branched video triggers a page refresh, which interrupts the video. And annotations apparently don’t show up when YouTube videos are embedded on other sites, which, if true, is puzzling. But YouTube’s content creators, which tend to be amateurs, will enjoy the easy-to-use tools.
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