Add In-Video Commenting with Conversations


Student engagement is the number one indicator of student success in online and blended courses. Learn how you can use in-video commenting to connect with your students, and also connect them with each other.


The Conversations feature allows content creators to collaborate, review, and discuss a video with others. Conversations aligns written comments and drawn annotations with specific points in the video, making reviews quick and easy.

The key benefits of using conversations:

  • Enhance student engagement with course content.
  • Improve student-to-student interactions.
  • Increase an instructor's social presence.
  • Streamline the content review process.

Add a Conversation to a Relay Video

  1. Open any video page > Click the Conversations tab.
    TechSmith Relay user interface with the Conversations tab highlighted

    Note: The Conversations tab is not available for videos imported from YouTube.
  2. Click Create Conversation.
    TechSmith Relay user interface with the Create Conversation button highlighted
  3. Give this Conversation a name. For example, a course section, student group, or purpose of the conversation. Click Confirm.
    Screenshot of the Add Conversation modal window
  4. The new Conversation is now listed in the Conversations tab. Click on a Conversation to open it.
    Screenshot of the listed conversations, with the conversation name highlighted
  5. The video conversation opens for video playback and in-video commenting.


Share a Relay Video Conversation with Others

Share a URL link with others so they can review or comment on a video. Anyone who receives the URL needs to sign in to TechSmith Relay to view the video and add comments.

Note: A Relay video that contains a Conversation has a different URL than an original Relay video.

  1. From the Conversations menu, click the three dots to expose the options for the conversation, then click Get Link from the context menu.
    Click Get Link
  2. Click Copy to place the sharable link on the clipboard. Paste the link elsewhere to share the direct link with other Relay users.
    Copy the URL

Share a Relay Video Conversation in Your LMS

The Conversations feature integrates with Blackboard, Canvas, D2L Brightspace, and Moodle Learning Management Systems. Add a video Conversation via the LTI integration to allow students to view and comment on a video.

  1. To add a video with a Conversation to an LMS, enable Add Conversation and click Add Media.
    Screenshot of adding a video in an LMS, with the Add Conversation checkbox checked

    Note: The Add Conversation option is not available for images or videos imported from YouTube.
  2. Enter a name for the new Conversation, or select an existing Conversation from the drop-down menu. Click Confirm.
    Screenshot of the Add Conversation modal window, with one conversation name selected

Add Comments to a Video and Have a Conversation

  1. Play the video then pause to insert a comment at that specific location. Type your comment in the text box below the video. 

  2. When done, click Submit.
    Add Comment
  3. Others can now reply to any comment posted in the conversation. Here is an example of the video owner responding to a student comment:


  • ​Only the video owner sees the Manage Media button in the top-right corner of the Conversation window.
  • All participants see the Receive Notifications toggle button and can opt in to be notified when others reply to their comments.
  • If Receive Notifications is turned on, emails are sent to participants when replies are made to their comments. 
  • If you participate in multiple conversations, opt in or out to notifications for each conversation.

Add Annotations to a Video and Have a Conversation

Add visual annotations, such as arrows or shapes, to help show areas on the screen and to provide better context.

  1. Play the video then pause to insert an annotation at that specific location. Click an annotation tool from the toolbar and draw on the screen. 

  2. When done, click Submit.
    Add Annotation


  • If you include an annotation with your comment, viewers show or hide the annotation using the Show Annotation button
    Screenshot of a comment, with the show/hide annotation button highlighted
  • During video playback, annotations do not automatically appear for each comment. Viewers must select a comment to view any annotations.

Edit or Delete Comments or Annotations

  • Those who comment can edit their own comments. 

  • The video owner can delete any comment added to the video via the Edit option.
    Screenshot of the option for editing or deleting your own commentsScreenshot of the options for editing or deleting comments that have been made by others on a video you own

Add Multiple Conversations to the Same Relay Video

There is no limit to the number of Conversations that can be added to a video. 

Click the Create Conversation button and give the new conversation a unique name.

Screenshot of a list of conversations with the second one highlighted 
Each conversation will have a unique URL and will contain separate comments.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can anyone start a conversation? 

Video owners and TechSmith Relay admins will be able to create conversations for Relay videos. These conversations will not be searchable by viewers and must be shared via direct link or added to an LMS course. A viewer cannot create conversations for videos they do not own. 

How many conversations can I have? 

There is currently no limit to how many conversations you can have per media. 

Where can I see all of my conversations? 

From the video page, choose the Conversations option. This will list all created conversations for that media, and you can add new ones as well. 

Can I create a conversation for a video that has a Relay quiz? 

Yes, both features work well side-by-side. However, the ability to comment on a video is temporarily disabled while a viewer is answering a quiz question. 

Can I add a conversation to a video that has the privacy set to Public?

Technically yes, but it will still require users to sign in in order to view and participate in the conversation. It is not possible to create a public conversation at this time.

Are commenters notified when someone replies?

Yes. Email notifications are sent to the video owner, and to commenters when someone replies to their specific comment. A View Now button in the email takes the reader directly to the video to see the comment and continue the conversation.

Can I save and/or export the comments? 

Yes, it is possible to download a CSV file of all comments within a conversation from the Relay video page. Select the contextual menu for the conversation, then choose Download Comments

Screenshot of the Download Comments option for a conversation

Are conversations and comments visible to students who watch a video on a mobile device? 

Yes, mobile view - including adding comments and annotating - is optimized for this feature.

Does this feature integrate with my current Learning Management System (LMS), and how does grade reporting work? 

The Conversations feature integrates with Blackboard, Canvas, D2L Brightspace, and Moodle. Each conversation can be added as an LTI object, and where grading is possible, will report quiz or viewing percentage scores back to the LMS gradebook. 
If you copy a course that contains conversations in your LMS, a new Conversation will be created for the fresh copy of the course, without copying over the existing comments. Your original conversation can still be accessed from the Relay video page.  

Can I start a conversation on all types of videos and images? 

Conversations can only be added to videos hosted in Relay and is not available for imported YouTube videos or images at this time.

All Tutorials

The complete list of tutorials and guides for TechSmith Relay users and administrators.