Gmail unveils broad YouTube support

Video in email is a topic we’ve covered recently on the VCC blog.  On February 24, Google made in-email video closer to reality for email recipients who maintain Gmail accounts.

Previously, Gmail users could view Youtube videos in their webmail client, but only when Youtube previews were enabled via the Labs tab available under the Settings menu in Gmail.  In other words, very few Gmail users actually took advantage of this functionality.  Now, Google has rolled Youtube previews out across all Gmail subscribers.  All that is required to view video in Gmail is to include a Youtube link.  There are still issues email marketers will want to be aware of:

1.  In order for videos to display, they must be on Youtube.

2.  Videos do not display “in” the email, but instead show up as expandable thumbnail players at the bottom of email messages.

From the video commerce perspective, this is really only a semi-significant advance in the quest to enable in-email video.  Far more interesting, I think, is the growth potential for HTML5 to enable in-email video viewing experiences.  Since Google is one of the largest proponents of HTML5, Chrome 3+ now support HTML5, HTML5 is an open standard that’s video platform agnostic (Youtube hosting isn’t required, any email client that runs an HTML5 compliant rendering engine supports it) and, perhaps just as important, use of HTML5 doesn’t require email marketers to segment lists by domain in order to be auto-enabled inline, I’m still waiting to see more.

Until next time…

Happy Selling!