Posts Tagged 'annotations'

‘Where’s Dexter?’ – Summing up a year of interactive videos

Browsing my weekend list of RSS sources, I came across this video from SHO, inviting viewers to ‘find Dexter’ in the crowd. The 4 levels series is just one of many interactive videos created this past year, since YouTube introducedAnnotations‘ into its service.

Annotations was ‘born’ as an experiment in June 2008, to enable the user to add text and links directly onto the video. The links must point to other YouTube videos and the first annotation will work in embed, but will open a new browser for the next episode. Annotation Man provides a good tutorial on how to use annotations.

Where’s Dexter? is one example of how annotations can be used to attract viewers, for entertainment purposes. But the London Metropolitan Police created a more educational series – ‘Choose a different ending‘, in which the viewer is following the life of a teenager, trying to survive the slums of London. Each video is 30sec long, and at the end of it the viewer has to choose what will the teenager do – ‘take the knife’ or ‘leave the knife at home’ is only the first step. The series is designed to help the real teenagers of London cope with some tough decisions, growing up in a violent environment.

From advertising, games, entertainment, and education – annotations proved to be a powerful tool in the hands of video producers across the world. Some even used annotations as their ad agency website.
I wonder what will happen once YouTube will allow annotations to have out-bounding links...

Mobile & Media Consultant. I help startup companies launch products to the consumer market. Reach out: dvir.reznik [at]



This is my personal blog. The postings here do not represent the thoughts, intentions, plans or strategies of my past employers or of my clients. It is solely my opinion.