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How to Make a Reaction Video (The Easy Way!)

Learn how to make a reaction video the easy way to entertain and grow your audience.
Lisa Harroy
Creator Partnerships Lead
Last Updated:
June 7, 2021
Reviewed by
Ortal Hadad

Reaction videos have become a cornerstone of the internet. If you haven’t tried your hand at one before, you’re missing out. 

Reaction videos are extremely quick and simple to make, drive traffic to your page, and help you build your audience. It’s a win-win. 

In this article, we break down why you should be making reaction videos, and how, with Riverside’s new media board, it’s easier than ever.

What is a reaction video? 

Let’s start with the basics. A reaction video is exactly what it sounds like: a video where a person or group of people is recorded reacting to something. 

They really took off with the Fine Bros, whose REACT YouTube channel has more than 20.1 million subscribers. 

There’s a wide range of reaction videos out there, with people reacting to everything from old music videos, other content creators, TV episodes, international snacks, video games, and more. 

The typical format of a reaction video is pretty straightforward. You’ll see an individual (the creator or their guests), on-screen with whatever they are reacting to overlaid in the corner. This is so the viewer can watch alongside them in real-time as they react. 

Why make reaction videos? 

One of the most popular genres of videos on YouTube 

It’s never too late to jump on a trend. Capitalize on the popularity of reaction videos to grow your channel and brand. 

Grow your audience by driving traffic to your page

Creating reaction videos about other creators’ content is a great way to harness the hype and drive their traffic to your page. 

Easy and simple to make 

Reaction videos are extremely simple in content and format, so they’re really easy to make. Plus, there’s no need for advanced planning or scripting. In fact, the more candid the reaction, the more genuine and interesting your video will be. 

Amplify your voice 

Producing reaction videos is an extremely effective way of getting your brand voice out there. You can participate in hot topic conversations, grow your audience, and put yourself right at the center of internet trends. 

How do I make a reaction video? 

As we’ve mentioned, recording a reaction video is extremely simple. In fact, you can even make one using iMovie and your in-built webcam - although this isn’t the best option if you want to include guests, an easy workflow, and are after studio-quality results. 

Luckily, with the launch of Riverside’s in-built media board, creating a reaction video just got even easier. 

What do I need to make a reaction video? 

Something to react to 

Sounds obvious, right? Before you start recording, you need to identify exactly what you and your guests are going to be reacting to. Try and pick something that’s likely to elicit a range of reactions to keep your audience engaged. 

Decide on your format 

Some reaction videos consist solely of the host reacting. This is a super simple set-up and involves little to no preparation at all. 

Other reaction videos gather a group of people together, either from the same demographic (children, elders, etc.) or from a range of backgrounds, to react to the same thing. If you opt for the guest format, you’ll need to identify and invite your participants ahead of time. 

Candid and animated reactions 

Successful reaction videos offer something different. You want your reaction video to be entertaining and dynamic, sharing an alternative or unique view on something that is already known to the viewer. The more genuine and candid the reaction the better. 

High-quality recording 

Last, but not least, your reaction video should be high quality. To compete with other reaction videos out there, you will need to produce an HD recording with seamless editing. 

For an effective and engaging reaction video, bear in mind that your viewers don’t need to watch you (or your guests) reacting to the whole video or whatever you’re reacting to. Edit ruthlessly to create a snappy and sleek reaction video that keeps your audience entertained.

Riverside Media Board 


Upload audio or video files to react to. 

Upload your own assets to your recording studio for you and your guests to react to. There are some pre-loaded media too if you’re looking for some inspiration. 

Note: only the host has the ability to upload media to the recording studio. 

Saved for future use. 

When you upload media to your Riverside media board, it automatically saves it to your studio for future use, so you don’t need to worry about re-uploading. 

Preview your file before going ‘live’ with it. 

Nothing worse than pressing play and realizing you’ve uploaded the wrong file. Riversides Media Board allows you to preview your asset before ‘going live’ with it, meaning you can avoid any nasty surprises. 

Choose which part of the file you want to play. 

Before going live with your file, Riverside allows you to determine which part of the media you want to play. This means you won’t have to sit through any irrelevant segments before reaching the part you actually want to react to. 

Toggle the volume of the file. 

Although you can toggle the audio levels in post-production, allows you to set the volume of your media file before including it in your recording. This means you can balance the volume with that of you and your guests’ inputs for maximum convenience when it comes to editing. 

Automatically synced for easy editing. 

After you’ve finished recording, you’ll find your media asset alongside your other tracks, in your Riverside dashboard. For maximum ease, your media file is automatically synced with your other tracks so you don’t have to adjust any timings in post-production. 

Locally recorded, full HD that’s not reliant on internet connection. 

With Riverside, your reaction video will always be in full HD, so you can capture your and your guests’ reactions in 1080p. Because Riverside records locally, your recording is protected against weak or intermittent internet connection. 

Progressive upload. 

Riverside automatically progressively uploads your recording during your session. This means that not only will you be protected against data loss or file corruption, but that the time you’ll be waiting for your files to complete uploading will be minimized. 

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How to make a reaction video with 

Step 1: Login to your account

Step 2: Click ‘create a new (reusable) studio’

Step 3: Give your studio a title, and choose the recording type. If you’re creating your studio ahead of time, click set up ‘studio for later’. Here, you can schedule your recording session and invite your participants.

Step 4: On the day, click ‘Go to recording studio’

Step 5: Toggle your settings, and verify the correct hardware is connected. When you’re happy, click ‘Join Studio’

Step 6: If you haven’t already, invite your guests by clicking ‘invite participants’ and either copying and pasting the link, or sending it directly by email. Ensure to send them a Guest Link.

Step 7: You’ll find the media board in the tab on the right-hand side of your screen. Click ‘Media’ to navigate to your media board. 

Step 8: Upload your media either by clicking the ‘+’ button on the top right-hand corner or by dragging and dropping your chosen file into the media boardN.B. Maximum File Size is 256 Mb for both audio and video. You can check the progress of the upload on the media board.

Step 9: Once you’ve uploaded your media, it will appear on your media board.  Preview your asset by clicking on it and playing it through. You can adjust the audio level using the volume bar on the bottom right corner.

Step 10: When you’re ready to ‘go live’ with your media and share it with your guests, press ‘go live’ in the bottom left corner of the media board. You can pause your media at any time if you want to allow time for in-depth discussions about your reaction. Simply press play once you’re ready to continue.

Step 11: Once you’ve finished recording, click the red ‘stop recording’ button at the bottom of your screen. Ensure you and your guests keep your chrome tab open even after your session has ended. This ensures your recording upload completes

Step 12: You’ll find all your separate session recording tracks in your dashboard, including your media asset.

Media that you’ve uploaded is compatible with Riverside's text-based video editor so it will be automatically synced with your other recordings.

See how easy it is yourself! Start recording on Riverside!


How do I make a reaction video without copyright issues? 

For obvious reasons, you can’t make a reaction video without using someone else’s content. Ensure at the very least to credit the original creator. It’s also good practice to reach out to them personally, and ask for their explicit permission. However, in reality, this can be near impossible, especially if you’re reacting to big-name stars and their content. 

What makes a good reaction video? 

You want your video to be interesting and captivating. To do this, you should provide animated and candid reactions as far as possible. Looking over-rehearsed or staged will work against you. 

Ensure to include a variety of guests who are likely to have diverse reactions to produce a reaction video that keeps the viewer interested. 

Lastly, make sure to edit your video with your viewer in mind. Cut out any unnecessary or repetitive commentary to keep your video dynamic. 

Bonus: Reaction Video Inspo 

If you’re stuck for ideas, check out these videos to get inspired. 

Elders Play Grand Theft Auto V (Elders React: Gaming) 

This video from the REPLAY channel has over 31 million views. The video flicks between the different participants in sequence to keep the viewer engaged. The reactions are candid and in real-time. The most interesting aspect of this reaction video is the idea of ‘Elders’ playing Grand Theft Auto in the first place, a combination that is extremely unexpected and most definitely draws the viewer in. 

Heart - Magic Man (REACTION!) 

This video from Lost in Vegas consists of a much more simple format with just the two hosts reacting to a song. They pause the song whenever they want to add commentary and analysis. This video also shows just how easy it is to make a reaction video, with one song producing a 20-minute reaction video! 

Billie Eilish Watches Fan Covers on YouTube 

This video shows Billie Eilish reacting to fan covers of her songs ‘Lovely’, ‘Ocean Eyes’, ‘Bellyache’, and ‘When the Party’s Over’. This video is somewhat of a ‘multi-level’ reaction video, showing the fans themselves reacting to Billie Eilish reacting to their videos. 

Final Thoughts

The power of reaction videos should not be underestimated. Cynics may be skeptical about how much interest they can actually garner, but trust us, they do. You’ll drive traffic to your page, grow your audience, and you’ll have fun. Reaction videos are so simple to make, yet so effective. What are you waiting for! 

Try out our new media board and make your very own reaction video with our free trial.

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