Share context-free, full-screen YouTube videos with Surprise.ly

This simple Web app lets you maintain the mystery of YouTube videos.

Matt Elliott Senior Editor
Matt Elliott is a senior editor at CNET with a focus on laptops and streaming services. Matt has more than 20 years of experience testing and reviewing laptops. He has worked for CNET in New York and San Francisco and now lives in New Hampshire. When he's not writing about laptops, Matt likes to play and watch sports. He loves to play tennis and hates the number of streaming services he has to subscribe to in order to watch the various sports he wants to watch.
Expertise Laptops | Desktops | All-in-one PCs | Streaming devices | Streaming platforms
Matt Elliott
2 min read

When you go to share a YouTube video that has a big payoff at the end, the surprise can be ruined by all of the information surrounding the video player, mainly the video's title, description, and comments. With Surprise.ly, you'll get a link that opens the video and the video only. No title. No description. No comments. Neither views count nor runtime nor related videos. And as an added bonus, Surprise.ly removes preroll ads and starts your chosen video as soon as the link is opened.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

To share a video with Surprise.ly, head to its site and be greeted by its basic Web form. You can enter the link to the YouTube video you want to share, and you can select the start and end points. You can also select a second YouTube clip to dub over the first video, though I'm not sure in how many situations such a tool would prove useful. Click the green Go button and your video will begin playing.

If you share the link of the video, your friend will not receive any prior context to what's in store. And during playback, he or she will not be given any play controls. You can click on a Surprise.ly video to pause it, and there is a button in the lower-right corner that opens the video on YouTube's site.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Had Surprise.ly made its debut during the height of the Rickroll craze, the potential for misuse would have been great. One would hope we've matured as sharers of YouTube videos, though, to where if a Surprise.ly link shows up in your inbox, you won't be afraid to click it.

(Via Lifehacker | Source: Wired)