Embedding Video in Google Wave

I’m going to start this little note off by saying that I am a Wave n00b. I got an invite late last week (sorry, no invites to give away yet) but I still don’t really have it figured out which is why I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s Refresh Columbia meetup. It seems like the type of system that will eventually become innately intuitive. At this point though, it doesn’t really fit into any of the web app paradigms I’m familiar with. It’s not really email, not exactly chat or a forum or document editor or social media platform. The answer is really D.) All of the above – and many, many other things – all at the same time.

The videos, news posts and Twitter buzz about Wave started quite a while before the first invites actually went out and are still popping up. Some of this news focused on the more technical aspects of Wave and some of it gave general “it’s an email killer” type hype. The best explanations I’ve seen though are the Google Wave Cinema videos by copyrighthater on YouTube. They’re clips from movies, recreated within Google Wave to show off how realtime, media-enhanced, group communication can actually work. Check out this remake of a clip from Good Will Hunting:

(Edit: Previously embedded video is no longer online.)

So, you get the idea…or maybe you don’t, but at least you’ve now seen how the interface works. As you could see (very briefly around 40sec) in the video, you can embed YouTube videos by hitting the G+ button, searching for the video you want to embed, clicking add to wave, then clicking the little light bulb icon to convert the link into an embedded video. You can also just paste a YouTube URL right into a blip you’re writing and the light bulb icon will show up next to it.

While that works great for YouTube, I prefer to share videos through Vimeo. Unfortunately, Wave hasn’t yet added embed functionality for Vimeo URLs and pasting in the embed script doesn’t work either. I tried finding an answer for this on Google with no luck. It wasn’t until I searched public waves with: “group:public@a.gwave.com embed vimeo” that I found an answer; actually 2 answers, both posted by http://InitialBLIP.com.

Option 1: HTML Embedding Gadget

Click on the “Add Gadget By URL” puzzle piece icon and paste in:
This will insert a little textbox in your blip where you can paste in whatever HTML code you like.

Option 2: Video Embedding Extensions

Embedding HTML seems like the most versatile option, but the guys at InitialBLIP have made it simpler with their own Wave extensions. You still click on the “Add Gadget By URL”, but instead paste the URL below for your preferred video hosting service, replacing VIDEO_ID with the id of your video.

  • 12sec: http://wave.initialblip.com/12seconds/VIDEO_ID
  • Vimeo: http://wave.initialblip.com/vimeo/VIDEO_ID
  • Viddler: http://wave.initialblip.com/viddler/VIDEO_ID

So, if I wanted to embed the video from SXSW of Me vs the SXSW MechBull, I’d simply click the puzzle icon, paste in http://wave.initialblip.com/vimeo/3817908 and there it is.

9 comments on “Embedding Video in Google Wave

Henrik says:

Another way to add embedded video in a Wave is to Click the “Google Search” icon, select video, search for something, click “Add to wave” when you found what you’re looking for, and then click the little light bulb that appears and choose “Embed Video”. Done! 🙂

True. I found that out shortly after writing this post but never added it in. Thanks for pointing that out.

Sophia says:

still very helpful, especially if you can’t find the video you’re looking for!

Zac says:

I don’t see the light bulb. Am I alone on that?

Zac, if you paste in a regular YouTube URL like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3fKgZUmLhs, it will turn bold and a little light bulb icon will show up next to the URL. Hope that helps.

Mundir says:

Nice article, found it useful and bookmarked you, Thank you Jason, keep the good stuff coming.

Nathan Crow says:

Hi Thank you for the information. I’m now enjoying the Waves, a lot more.


Sophia says:


Israel says:

I keep pasting a url where my video is and I cant get it to embed. Youtube videos are a given,they are simple, however what about different sites that contain video?

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