The pandemic has changed the way we live drastically. We have had to look for new ways to overcome obstacles set by the instruction to 'stay at home' and thankfully, science and technology have come to our rescue.

Video technology has rapidly developed over the past year, from Zoom, to Netflix, to streaming on social media. This growth has been accelerated by COVID since video has provided people with a virtual solution to connect with others.

In this post, we will investigate just how we have used video to adapt to a new, socially distanced life and how interactive video technology has progressed and changed for the better.

How interactive video has helped religion during the pandemic

Livestream has helped many congregations bring people together virtually. For example, Conservative synagogues can now livestream Shabbat services. Here, video conferencing has been embraced as the only viable and safe solution to maintaining community during the pandemic. Now, for many, the needle has moved, and post-pandemic synagogues intend to keep those options available indefinitely. The convenient online services mean that people do not need to travel long distances to attend places of worship, they can practice their faith using technology from the comfort of their own home. This means that for many, livestreamed services will remain a part of practice for many religions in a post pandemic world.

How interactive video has helped e-commerce

As a result of the pandemic, marketers have looked to find new ways of reaching potential customers when bricks and mortar stores are closed. Interactive video is set to become the biggest video content marketing format out there. With the market rapidly growing as 86% of businesses use video as a marketing tool. This was 85% in 2020, 87% in 2019, 81% in 2018, 63% in 2017 and 61% in 2016. So, it isn't a surprise that many brands are using the clickable, immersive interactive format to increase engagement, click-through-rate and conversion. Consumers click on brand videos and can instantly find out information about products, prices, sizing and more with the option to add to basket or make a purchase without leaving the video. See above for French fashion brand, Promod's video made with Smartzer's interactive video platform. Using the format, brands can tag videos with product links so consumers can interact. Promod's interactive and shoppable video successfully brings the benefits of offline shopping, online. This gives customers the confidence to make purchases when they cannot see products in real life.

How interactive video has helped education

Interaction video turns every passive viewer into an active participant. Therefore, the format is perfect for engaging and educating students online. Classes conducted on interactive video platforms would follow a format similar to that found in a traditional classroom. The events would take place live on a fixed schedule. With video interactivity, not only can teachers lecture, take live questions, and respond, but the students can also see and interact with one another, just as they would if they were all in the same physical classroom. Conversations would happen in real time, and teachers could see whether students were alert and interested or bored and disengaged. This means teachers can adapt and respond to student feedback. Thanks to interaction video, education has been less compromised during the pandemic. It is likely that in a post-pandemic world, video interactivity will continue to aid the education system and could quite possibly mark the end of snow days.

How interactive video has driven virtual events

Online livestream venue StageIt has been helping to connect fans with lesser known artists for years. Here, acts stream live from the comfort of their homes via laptop cameras. Through an interactive chat room feature, fans can communicate with artists by asking questions and requesting songs. With venues closed, StageIt enables fans to financially support artists through a monetized system and acts can show their appreciation for viewers via a virtual tip jar. Through interaction video streams, fans can win prizes such as band merch or one-on-one Zoom sessions. Bigger artists such as The Weeknd have held live, interactive virtual concerts. In August 2020 he took to TikTok drawing over 2 million total viewers and raising over $350,000 for the Equal Justice Initiative. Adam Lambert hosted a series of live streams in February 2021 discussing Stonewall day and up and coming LGBTQ artists. Eddie Vedder, Phoebe Bridgers and more performed virtually for the 34th annual Tibet House US Benefit concert. These have been a welcome alternative to completely cancelled event, entertaining people even when they cannot attend in person. Virtual events are incredibly accessible, inclusive and have opened up a whole new way for fans to engage with artists. This has caused organisers to consider continuing with some virtual events following the pandemic.

For more information about how to create interactive video and livestreams click here!