As media becomes an even more prominent part of how users interact on Google services, Google Docs has expanded its video options yet again. The recent update allows users to insert Google-stored videos into their Google Site, generate an embed code for the video, and add a closed captioning track to their video.
Google Docs as Media Storage
Once, long ago, there was a rumor of a Google service known as the “G Drive.” The G Drive was meant to be a cloud storage option that let users keep files of any kind on the web, accessible from any computer that had internet access. While the G Drive never came to be, Google did expand Google Docs so it covered this exact same service.
It started with just being able to store whatever file you cared to store, but it quickly expanded, with more and more files being supported within Google Docs. More document types could be opened and edited, more image types could be viewed, and – at long last – users could watch videos directly from the Docs interface. The recent set of changes expands the use of Google Docs yet again, changing it from a media storage service to a media distribution hub.
Google Docs as Media Distribution
Google owns YouTube, one of the biggest media distribution outlets around the world and the single largest streaming video site on the web. Now Docs is starting to double up on some of the same territory. The new features are fairly intuitive, with a new option in “Insert > Video” allowing quick access to media from the Google Docs list, the video’s page within Google Docs showing the embed code, and an option from the Actions menu allowing for closed captions. All of these features will only be viewable and searchable, however, by those you’ve shared the video with.
This may be a choice from Google to shorten the uploading and sharing process for videos, and limit the spread of videos meant for more private groups, so that Google Docs can become a more effective tool for users of Google+ – the upcoming Google social network.
[Sources include: The Google Docs Blog]