Holaa! Julio here! Here in this article, I will share about how to easily convert content into embeddable link in Gather Town using Google Drive. On the early time, when I just knew about Gather Town, embedding content seems easy to do. Gather already have 3 options to do content embedding: Embedded website, embedded image, and embedded video. However, by the time flies, I feel like using embedding image take a lot of bandwidth, since the image uploaded directly into the space. It takes a lot of time to just for viewing the image. And for the video, the only link I could use is a YouTube link, so I need upload the video into YouTube first. Moreover, the channel preview picture can be seen on the bottom left side, and it’s bothering me sometimes. After doing some research, I found out that we can convert our content into Google Drive link to preview it easier into our Gather Town space. It’s easy but tricky to prepare the link, but no worries, here I will share you how to do it. Check it out!
Why Google Drive?
I believe there are another kind of file storage service we can use beside Google Drive. Google Drive isn’t the only option here. But this platform is the most familiar for me. I know how to do it and almost use it everyday. So here I will use Google Drive for the sample in this article. However, this platform is free for the first 15GB. The only thing you need is just a Gmail account, and it just take around 5 minutes to make it. So it’s worth a try. In case you are never know Google Drive before, you can access it here. Just login using your Gmail account and you are ready to go.
I will explain a little bit about how to prepare the content like how to upload a file and setup the file sharing properties. Basically all you need it here is just make sure the file can be seen through a link, not a restricted one. If you already know about this, just skip this part and simply go to the next one.
Google Drive Basic
When you access your Google Drive, firstly you will see this dashboard. You can go to the top left and click on the “+New” button to make any new file or folder. For a better arrangement, I suggest to make a new folder for each project, not just uploading all email there. But it’s actually up to you. After making a new folder and renaming it, you can upload the file into the folder. To upload a file, just simply drag the file from your computer into the drive, and it will be uploaded automatically.
Google Drive File Sharing Properties
Next, you need to update the file sharing properties. See the image above. The default will be “Restricted”. Restricted means only you (and anybody you gave the access to your folder) can see and edit the file. To make it accessible, you need to change it to be “Anyone with the link”. When you choose it, you can choose either anyone with the link as “Viewer”, “Commenter”, or “Editor”. For Gather Town content, “Viewer” is enough. So anyone can see that content without the ability to change the content. This sharing properties can be applied into a single file or the overall files in one folder. If you want to apply it into a single file, so just keep the folder as “Restricted” and do a right click into the desired file and you will see the Share option there.
After uploading and changing the sharing properties, you will have the link of the content. Copy that link and you are ready to go to the next section. Don’t forget to get the single-file-link by right clicking into the desired file instead of the folder-link. It’s true that this is the link to access the file, but not the true link to embed the file into another platform, so if you try to copy this link into Gather object interaction, it will just lead into an error. So to make it embeddable, you need to do some editing into the link and it will be the topic for the next section.
The Formula for the Embeddable Link
I felt this method was tricky and complicated at first, but after a few trials, I started to get used to it. Actually there are 3 main contents that we can convert into an embeddable link : image, pdf file, and video. We can convert a Google Slide and Google Spreadsheet link as well. Each type of content will have a different formula. Basically you need to find the unique [FileID] from your old link, and copy paste it into your new formula. See each of it below.
For Image and PDF File
Into this :https://drive.google.com/file/d/[FileID]/preview
For Video File
Into this :https://drive.google.com/uc?export=open&id=[FileID]
Note : For video, the best use for video is for a file that are under 150MB. Because if you use the video that more than 150MB, the buffering time will be slower than the playing time, so it will not looks seamless. In my opinion, it’s better to use YouTube instead for a video that more than 150MB.
Edit : To enhance the user experience, please make sure to compress all your files before uploading it into Google Drive. Why do we need to compress it? Smaller file size will make the user access our file faster and easier. Sometimes a regular exported files comes in a bigger size even if it’s just a simple file. So compressing it will helps a lot, and save your Google Drive capacity as well. One reader called Amanda recommend me about a platform called ImageCompressor. She’s been doing some exploration about this platform, it’s free and easy to use. So it’s worth to try. Shout out for Amanda for the recommendation, really appreciate it!
For Google Slide, it’s a little bit technical, since we need to get the link from the ‘Publish to Web’ feature instead of from the Sharing feature. Sharing feature link is just make anyone that have the link can have an access to view the Google Slide dashboard, not the slides itself (do you get what I mean?). But don’t worry, I will explain it step by step.
First thing first, after you done with all the slides, you can go to ‘File’ and find ‘Share’, then choose ‘Publish to Web’. See the image above if you are confused.
After you choose ‘Publish to web’ there will be a new panel popped up. See the image above. Then click the publish button, and choose Yes. By doing this, you are basically publish your slides into the web for anyone who have the access to the link, but they can only see the slides not the Google Slide files. After you click the Publish button, you will see a link there. Copy the link and edit it using this formula below. You only need to change the “pub?start=false&loop=false&delayms=3000” to be “embed“. Easy isn’t it?
From this :https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/e/[FileID]/pub?start=false&loop=false&delayms=3000
Done! You slides are ready to go! On Google Slide, you can even make an interaction like with an NPC. Click the simple example that I made here to see for reference. If you want to make something like this, but in better visuals, feel free to contact me. I’m also accepting a project about making these things.
For Google Spreadsheet, it’s basically the same as Google Slide, beside you don’t need to edit the link. You need to Publish to Web, and after you get the link, it’s ready to go, no need to change anything.
So that’s all about how to easily convert content into embeddable link in Gather Town using Google Drive. It looks like so technical, but trust me after you get used to it, it will be easier! All you need to do is just look closely to the link and a simple copy and paste it into the formula.
If you still have any question related to this article, just left a comment and I will be happy to answer if I can. If you want some article about Gather Town alternative, you can check it on my last article here. I’m no longer on Fiverr, so if you are interested to work with me, please just contact me through this Contact Page. I would be glad to help you. Also if you want to give appreciation, you can go to my Ko-fi site to give me some coffee, it will be appreciate so much. See you next time in the next article! Sampai jumpa lagi!