YouTube has announced that it’s discontinuing the ability to add annotations to videos on May 2 in favor of Cards and End Screens.
As adoption of End Screens and Cards has grown, the use of annotations has decreased by over 70 percent. For this reason, the time has come to discontinue Annotations Editor. Effective starting May 2, you’ll no longer be able to add new or edit existing annotations, only delete them. Existing annotations will continue to show when using a desktop computer. We wanted to give you advanced notice so you can adjust.
Here’s why YouTube is making the change:
● End Screens and Cards work on mobile: Annotations Editor launched in 2008, before the world went mobile. With 60 percent of YouTube’s watchtime now on mobile, why go through the work of creating annotations that won’t even reach the majority of your audience? End Screens and Cards work on mobile and desktop, giving you more bang for your buck.
● End Screens and Cards are more engaging for your viewers: End Screens and Cards generate seven times more clicks across YouTube than annotations. In fact, viewers generally don’t love annotations, and on average they close 12 annotations before they click on one of them. And more and more viewers turn off annotations altogether.
● End Screens are easier to create: You told us that adding annotations at the end of your videos is hard. With End Screens that process is now much quicker and easier — in fact, up to ten times quicker. You can now import End Screens from other videos or use dynamic overlays to save yourself even more time.
While annotations never worked on mobile, they did offer some functionality still not available with Cards or End Screens. Hopefully, YouTube will work to address that.