In a blog post on 16 March, YouTube announced it would be removing the ability to add annotations to videos.
The change is set to be implemented on 2 May. From that day forward, there will be no way to add or edit annotations, only delete old ones. But this doesn’t mean an end to the feature entirely; annotations that already exist will still appear on desktop computers.
This comes after YouTube announced in a blog post that “the use of annotations has decreased by over 70%” since the rollout of Cards and End Screens – a feature the company hailed as “the evolution of annotations” in a previous blog post on the subject.
Cards and End Screens are both mobile and desktop-friendly and allow for more interactivity and flexibility with viewers, allowing creators to add polls and link to merchandise, associated websites, other videos or playlists, or fundraising. YouTube also toted Cards and End Screens as “up to ten times quicker” to create than annotations as “you can now import End Screens from other videos or use dynamic overlays to save yourself even more time”.
“60% of YouTube’s watchtime [is] now on mobile.” the company said in the blog post. “Why go through the work of creating annotations that won’t even reach the majority of your audience?”
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