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Interactive Video

Interactive video (also known as "IV") is a type of digital video that supports user interaction. These videos play like regular video files, but include clickable areas, or "hotspots," that perform an action when you click on them. For example, when you click on a hotspot, the video may display information about the object you clicked on, jump to a different part of the video, or open another video file.

Interactive videos are common on YouTube, a popular video sharing website. They allow you to select one or more options while the video is playing. For example, towards the end of a video, you may be asked to select which character in the video you liked best. Once you make your choice, a new video will open and may provide more information about the character you selected. Other examples of interactive videos include card tricks, choose your own adventure videos, and interactive tutorials.

You can create an interactive video in YouTube by using YouTube's "Annotations" feature. This tool allows you to overlay content on top of the video and create clickable hotspots. If you add interactive content to your video, it is helpful to include a few extra seconds of "decision time" that allows the user to make his or her selection. It is also important to make sure each clickable option links to another live video file on YouTube.

NOTE: While clickable advertisements are sometimes overlaid on YouTube videos and other video files, these are not considered interactive videos.

Updated: January 4, 2011

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