Annotations, Comments, and Promotions
A big part of the YouTube experience is the interactivity it provides. For example, users can comment on a video in the “Respond to this video” box displayed below the video window. Previous comments are listed below that box in reverse chronological order, as you might see in a blog. Hovering over those comments activates some option icons that let you vote thumbs up or down on the comment, and to reply directly to the commenter. You can also flag the comment if it looks like spam and the YouTube people will take a look at it.
In one of those weird media crossover moments, the TiVo video re-cording service began allowing its set-top boxes to play YouTube videos in 2008. In 2009, YouTube launched “YouTube for TV,” which was a version of the website customized for set-top boxes.
The annotations feature allows you to make your videos highly interactive by creating links within the video. YouTube provides an annotations editor that allows you to add speech bubbles, which contain text and can be programmed to pop up in your videos; notes, which are simple pop-up text boxes; spotlights, which highlight areas in a video — as YouTube explains it, “when the user moves the mouse over these areas the text you enter will appear;” video pauses, which halt the video for a period you specify; and others.
Typically, the people who publish videos to the YouTube site are looking for an audience. YouTube offers a fee-based service for publicizing and promoting your videos and your channel. It's called YouTube Promoted Videos, and it's connected to Google's AdWords. YouTube describes the service as “an advertising solution that allows YouTube users, partners, and advertisers to promote their video content within the YouTube website.”
YouTube also gives its members free access to some great performance statistics about their videos with YouTube Insight. This is a reporting tool that tracks how popular your videos are, how often people view them, what types of people view them, which countries are generating the most traffic, and other statistics.