YouTube Announces Collaborative Annotations

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Last June YouTube launched Annotations, a feature that makes YouTube videos more interactive by enabling content creators to add speech bubbles,notes, and highlight boxes to their videos. People found several creative uses for Annotations, pushing the limits of information sharing, interactive games and storytelling.

Last week they added to that with the ability to collaborate on them with other YouTube users. Now video creators can invite others to create speech bubbles, notes and spotlights on their videos.

Enabling Collaborative Annotations is easy. First, go to the annotations editor (which you can find in My Videos or by going directly to your video’s watch page) and retrieve the special annotations link. Then send it out to friends. Once friends click on the link, they will be allowed to add annotations to the creator’s video. Control lies with the video creator, so he/she can always delete any annotations they don’t want and can also disable access to the annotations URL so that no more can be added. Naturally, people can edit or delete anything they write on someone else’s video.

Being invite only should prevent abuse of the feature but it might not actually add any value to the videos. Of course it could create an all new use and way to interact with online video. I guess we’ll need to keep an eye on it.


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