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YouTube Launches Annoying New Annotations Feature

Just noticed this today when i was on YouTube… then i saw this article on Wired about it.


YouTube has added a new annotations feature so that video creators can clutter up their scenes with text bubbles, notes, spotlights and other annoying distractions most viewers won’t care about.

If you’d like to check out just how annoying the new annotations can be check out this example video. Fortunately for those that don’t want to see them, it’s easy to turn off the annotations: just click the new, totally non-obvious icon in the lower right corner of each video, which will then pop up a second totally non-obvious icon that toggles the annotations feature.

It’s not that we have anything against video annotation per say, but YouTube’s version is very poorly implemented.

The ability to add additional commentary, links and more inside uploaded videos is not a new idea, Viddler has been doing it for some time, but on Viddler the annotations are part of timeline and, if you want to ignore them it’s easy to do so.

YouTube’s version makes it possible to splash text bubbles all over the video and ends up detracting from the actually movie, rather than enhancing it.

The most charitable thing I can say about YouTube’s annotations is that it’s a beta feature and won’t work with videos embedded on outside websites.

Also note that annotations are available only to the video’s creator, not the viewer, and if you were thinking of adding links to your movies, think again. Only links pointing to other YouTube pages will work.

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