Google has decided to discontinue its Annotations Editor beginning May 2, making annotations — any text, links or hot spots layered over a video — no longer available to creators.
Since offering End Screens and Cards, YouTube says the use of annotations, which only work on desktop, has decreased more than 70 percent.
“With 60 percent of YouTube’s watch-time now on mobile, why go through the work of creating annotations that won’t even reach the majority of your audience?” writes YouTube product manager Muli Salem on the YouTube Creator Blog. “End Screens and Cards work on mobile and desktop, giving you more bang for your buck.”
Among other reasons for sunsetting annotations, YouTube reports that End Screens and Cards generate seven times more clicks than annotations — and, on average, viewers close 12 annotations before clicking on one. Also, according to feedback from creators, annotations are difficult to create, while the setup process for End Screens can be up to 10 times quicker.
Without the Annotation Editor, creators will no longer be able to add new annotations or edit existing ones. The only option will be to delete annotations. YouTube says existing annotations will continue to show when videos are being viewed on a desktop.
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