YouTube Discontinues Annotations Editor

The YouTube Annotations Editor is being discontinued.

As of May 2 you will no longer be able to add new YouTube annotations to your videos or edit existing annotations. All you’ll be allowed to do is delete existing annotations.

If you have any existing annotations they will continue to be shown to people who watch videos on a desktop device.

In a blog post, YouTube announced the Annotations Editor, which launched in 2008, is being shut down for two main reasons.

1. Adoption Of End Screens & Cards Is Rising

End Screens are a feature that adds thumbnail overlays during the last 5 to 20 seconds of your YouTube video. YouTube made End Screens available to all users in October.

Said YouTube: “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.”

2. Usage Of Annotations Has Fallen By 70%

A variety of Cards have been available to creators since March 2015. These appear in the top right corner of your video and let you link to YouTube videos or playlists, do fund-raising, ask for funding, or promote merchandise or a website.

Said YouTube: “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.”

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