Effective today, May 2nd, YouTube has turned off the ability to add or edit annotations. Moving forward, users will only being able to delete existing annotations and any others that remain will continue to display on desktop computers.
Annotations editor was launched back in 2008, before the world went truly mobile. A lot has changed since then and now that mobile devices represent the 60% of YouTube watch time, annotations have become outdated. Why go through the work of creating annotations that won’t even reach the majority of the audience?
Aware of these statistics, YouTube has built mobile-friendly alternatives, cards and end screens, to link to related videos, channels and websites. Both tools have been very well accepted by creators and, as a result, the adoption of cards and end screens has grown while the use of annotations has dropped by over 70%.
Besides helping to reach a wider audience, see a few more advantages below:
- End screens and cards are more engaging for viewers, generating seven times more clicks than annotations across YouTube. In fact, annotations have never had great popularity among viewers: most of them turn annotations off and those who don’t closes twelve annotations, on average, before clicking on one of them.
- End screens are up to 10 times faster to create compared to adding annotations, which is pretty time consuming. Moreover, it’s now possible to import end screens from other videos or use dynamic overlays, saving even more time.