Interactive video – what is it and how does it work?

What is an interactive video 

An interactive video does what it says on the tin: it lets your audience interact with your video as it plays and choose their own pathway through it. This means your audience can select the most appropriate messaging for them, choose their own journey through your video and answer questions within your content – and even get feedback on their answers. 

Traditional videos are linear, requiring everyone who watches them to follow the same pathway and receive the same information. Whereas an interactive video completely changes this. Each user can receive tailored communications that are appropriate for them and their situation, and they can actively engage with the content, which improves memorability significantly.  

In our opinion, interactive video is the perfect way to spice up your film, animation or presentation. You can turn an ordinary slide or piece of film into an immersive piece of content that you can use to engage your audience and gain insights into how they interact with content…

Check out our showcase video to learn about all the different ways you can use interactive video to bring your content to life! 

Bring your content to life with different kinds of interactions


Buttons make building interactive content simple. You can add them onto your video or slides in Near-Life to give end-users the ability to answer questions, choose what happens next or select an option they’d like to learn more about. 


Hotspots allow you to make a part of your media interactive. You can choose from a circular hotspot or a rectangle to highlight a part of your video, which then becomes clickable for the end-user. You can choose whether or not to have the hotspot show all the time, just when the user hovers over it, or never. 


Text allows you to add a piece of text to your content that the user can click on to give an answer or to go somewhere. It takes up less space than buttons, so can be useful if you’re giving your audience many options to choose from. However, if you’ve got a lot going on in your media, using text alone might not be right for you. You might opt to use buttons instead in some cases, as this makes the writing stand out more against the background. 


Pop-ups add another dimension to your interactive videos, enabling you to provide in-depth information about specific topics. The end user can click on a part of the screen, from which a new slide will ‘pop up’, with added information on a topic. This is really useful when you want to provide a lot of information to lyour end-user, without overwhelming them. You allow the user to select the bits that they would like to learn more about, to suit their own needs and requirements.

Feedback and scoring

You can choose to give your audience feedback at the end of each scenario (or part of your video), so they can see either how well they did, or how their choices impacted the outcome. You could also choose to provide an end score and tell them whether they passed (if you’ve chosen to include scoring). 


Inventory is like a little bag you use to store and count up your points in the video. The platform can recall how many items are in the bag at any point in the game. You can set conditions based on this. For example, to go to the final level you must have 10+ coins.


Notebook allows learners to take notes during the scenario. The learners will get their notes at the end of scenario in their learning report. This is especially useful when using a blended learning approach as it allows the learner to share their notes with the instructor. 

Want to know more about interactive video?

If you’d like to learn more about why Near-Life is the right tool for creating interactive videos, you can book a demo to speak with one of our team.

Or, if you’re already confident it’s right for you, you can get started right away with a free trial.

Need to find out more? Get in touch with our team.

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