YouTube allows off-site links on videos

Surprisingly in our hyperlinked world, YouTube hasn’t allowed videos to contain links. A charity posting an appeal, a politician raising funds, an aspiring cookery writer, none have been able to provide an easy link from their promotional video back to their web site. The best they could do was to put a link in the summary text alongside the video.

From tomorrow, anyone using YouTube’s cost-per-click advertising service* will be able to put a link to their web site directly on the video.

Besides the obvious uses – ‘click now to pledge your donation’ etc – how will people use this? These facilities inevitably get subverted and twisted into new applications…

* US advertisers only at the moment. The service lets you add keywords to your video; when users search on those keywords, or when YouTube shows another video with content related to them. your video appears alongside the search results or related videos; you pay only when users click to view your video.