SlideShare will now allow users to embed YouTube videos into their Flash-based presentations – an oft-requested feature that has countless potential uses. Users will now be able to include personal introductions to their slideshows, offer video that supports the contents of the rest of the presentation, or (in the case of startup pitches) include demonstrations of a website’s features. In the past users wishing to include video in their presentations have been forced to include links to separate video files, which sort of defeated the point of having a dead-simple way to share PowerPoint presentations.
The feature seems to work as advertised, though I have a few gripes. It isn’t currently possible to make a video auto-play (though CEO Rashmi Sinha says this will be coming soon), and users will also have to deal with YouTube’s standard ‘feature’ of linking to a video’s YouTube address whenever you accidentally click outside of the ‘play’ arrow. Other than that, it’s a great addition to the product. We should also note that while this is the first time SlideShare has supported embedded video, the site has allowed users to embed audio alongside their slideshows since 2007. You can check out a sample slideshow with YouTube video embeds below.
Last month SlideShare also launched an impressive new cloud-based feature that ties your native PowerPoint client your SlideShare account.