How does GDSE feel about embedded screen capture videos in questions and answers, from Youtube or similar sites?

I ask because I produced a video for an answer today and thought that an embedded video might be more useful than just a link (that could easily be missed).

I know we can embed animated GIFs in answers, but GIFs are a fairly terrible format for larger screen captures, both in terms of quality and filesize.

It does introduce a off-site dependency to the answer that increases the risk of link-rot, however so long as it's simply demonstrating something already explained in the answer, I don't think it's a huge issue.


2 Answers 2


I don't believe this will be allowed. Anyone can technically provide an answer and there are a lot of "subjective/improper" videos that could be embedded that some will deem as inappropriate.

Furthermore, answers should not have to rely on external sources which would be another reason not to allow embedded videos. Video answers, just like links, over time, will go down or may disappear. An answer should be able to live with the question forever.

  • To add doing a video still necessitates one to answer in writing as the site is supposed to attract google links on keyword searches. Technically stackexchange already has this capability all we need is to ask for the feature and it may or may not arrive.
    – joojaa
    Jan 14, 2016 at 18:19
  • I don't personally see how embedded videos are that different from embedded images, I understand theres more chance of dead links, but less chance than random tutorial links going dead.
    – Cai
    Jan 14, 2016 at 22:15
  • And as it's already a SE feature used on other sites it can't be all that bad!
    – Cai
    Jan 14, 2016 at 22:16
  • I dont personally think it would be good or bad but we can ask. I personally think pictures are better because it causes the writer to provide a better break down then a video telling someone
    – user9447
    Jan 15, 2016 at 2:43
  • @CAI One thing to consider, though, is that images (that are not link-only) are hosted in the SE servers. I doubt you could do that with a video because of size constrains. We do have some super nice GIF animations for how-to instructions. Those are hosted here, too.
    – Yisela
    Jan 15, 2016 at 11:31
  • As far as I'm aware the images are hosted on Imgur servers, and there are SE meta posts about images going dead (mostly old and due to technical issues, not images being deleted, but that's not the point). I'm not saying it isn't an issue (it is) and I'm not 100% for or against the idea l just think it should at least be considered.
    – Cai
    Jan 15, 2016 at 11:45
  • As I mentioned in my original post, the answer shouldn't rely on the embedded video - rather the video should just demonstrate the solution provided in the answer. That way, if for some reason YouTube goes dark, the answer will still contain the correct answer. Jan 19, 2016 at 10:57

imho, I totally agree with being able to use video. Worrying about the video content is the same as worrying about text replies and their probable spam/dodgy contents, SE has already several "rep" locks to avoid that kind of stuff, same logic applied to video would be just enough to avoid that kind of issues. (ie. 30rep = Kubrick badge: You can screen capture bla bla)

Also, crafting a home-brewed hosted module that could actually let us upload, embed and moderate it properly (we have enough content moderation in here to worry bout one extra bit). We are talking about GDSE, half of the content is based on visuals and "how-to's", video tbh is a must to enhance the experience.

Google Hangouts use a lovely framework that could probably be replicated to screen capture through the browser, maybe limiting the duration of the captures, and such.

Having such a big community would actually end up helping this feature, SE could launch a contest to craft the module through all the involved disciplines (communities), etc... we got the experts, whoever is in here has the time at some point, the more I think about it the more I ask... why not? we got everything :) . Maybe it is not a module to include in SEOverflow, SEBitcoin, and such, but I can see this enhancing the UX for any graphical/visual community in SE big time.

(Wish I could comment already instead of writing an "answer" but hey... few rep points still to go for that, bare with me).

  • As for Jackson's concern regarding 3rd parties going dark, which I totally agree, thats why a home-brewed solution would be the right way to go. Not that I think TY or Vimeo would go offline, but with all the user factors in there (user deleted content, user deletion, publicity, etc...), it would make a mess-to-happen escenario at some point.
    – Sam
    Feb 20, 2016 at 17:32
  • 1
    I can't really see a self hosted solution happening. Images aren't even self hosted - it's just a commercial Imgur installation. YouTube embeds are already a SE feature but it is only enabled site by site, so all we would have to do is ask SE for it and we may get it.
    – Cai
    Feb 20, 2016 at 22:16

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