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Interactive Websites

Nobuo Kawakam
In 2007, a Japanese web designer Nobuo Kawakami built a website where users can upload, view and share video clips. Unlike other video sharing sites, however, comments are overlaid directly onto the video, synced to a specific playback time. This allows comments to respond directly to events occurring in the video, in sync with the viewer—creating a sense of a shared watching experience.  This interactive website has then become popular not only in Japan but also in China.
Though interactive video websites don’t have physical forms, it has transformed many people’s way of watching television or videos. The interactive mode of watching videos pioneered by interactive video websites now has been adopted by basically all large video websites in China and has been added into many television programs.
The first interactive video website in China is Acfun, a video sharing website that launched in June 2007. The name of AcFun is an abbreviation of “Anime, Comic and Fun”. Learning from the Japanese website Niconico, Acfun is the first video sharing website which comments are overlaid on videos. The website is initially orientated as an ACGN (Animation, Comic, Game and Novel) community and is an influential video sharing website for its audience. Another similar website Bilibili is established in 2009, where users can submit, view, and add commentary subtitles on videos. These websites both use an Adobe Flash or HTML5 player, which can be manually switched, to play user submitted videos hosted by either itself or third-party sources, while featuring a real-time overlaying subtitle system for interactive playback experience. When these two websites become popular many people choose to watch television programs on them because when they watch those videos they can see other people’s comments and it is like you are watching television both alone and with other people at the same time. By encouraging people to share their own videos and make comments, these websites provide interactivity in an unprecedented way for their viewers, which cannot be offered by traditional televisions.
Niconico. Accessed May 12, 2018.
Bilibili. Accessed May 12, 2018.
Li, Wenyao. "ShowParty网络播放量破500万AcFun开启次元狂. August 27, 2015.