After my ‘losing a bet’ post of no support in major webmail systems for HTML5, along comes the news of Hotmail now supporting HTML5 – which includes the joy of video (see a beautiful example here of Game of Thrones video in email). They’re just 4 months late for my bet, but still: it’s here. On to the rest of the info:
Where and how does it work – best?
Apparently as of now Chrome supports HTML5 in Hotmail the best: after some experimenting by video-in-email company BombBomb they have found that Chrome is the cool kid: controls for displaying/running the video are shown just fine. Other browsers that should be able to show it as well are Internet Explorer 9, Firefox 4 and the latest version of Safari.
Other notes on the workings:
BombBomb notes that Hotmail currently strips the <video> tag, which means you can only play the video by right-clicking it.
Here’s some examples of how it works:
An example by Andy T (Captain Inbox):
Ros Hodgekiss from Campaign Monitor has posted HTML5 video support in Hotmail: The good, the bad and the autoplay on their blog. She notes that auto-play is possible, so make sure you read it.
Here’s a handy dandy link about HTML5 and video, courtesy of Ros Hodgekiss as well. It’s an extensive page about video on the web – in particular about using HTML5, the video-tag and browser support info.
Rory Carlyle of BombBomb has posted an update on their blog with his views: Video Email: Hotmail Releases HTML5 Acceptance in the Inbox
After Interactive Views I believe this is finally a step in the right direction for email clients. The odd thing is that coming from the same company there’s such a wide gap in support between Hotmail and the current Outlook version, 2010. The latter doesn’t even support some basic sets of HTML tags, while Hotmail now even supports HTML5 and all the goodies magic it allows. I think Microsoft should act quick and ramp up support in Outlook 2010 (or upcoming future editions of Outlook) for basic HTML tags as wel as HTML5, so the experience for everyone using those products will be the same across those different clients.
Furthermore current support seems to be best in Chrome, while it still is only the third browser in the market (although growing fast). Combined, IE and FF still have 71% of the market while Chrome has just over 20%. This means that using HTML5 (video) for Hotmail would have an email marketer first scan his list for email client -and- browser usage (where possible) to make sure what will work or not.
Nevertheless, supporting HTML5 is great to see coming from Hotmail: it’s an indication that the technology is on the move with the big guys, and with growing support it might finally be time for email marketers to give video in email a go for certain target groups.