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The Google-owned streaming video behemoth YouTube have released a statement announcing the end of the annotations editor feature. This feature allowed creators to add little overlays to their videos that give some additional information about the video or contain links to external websites. This news comes from a blog post on the official YouTube Creator Blog. A big part of the reason why YouTube is removing this feature is because YouTube creators have steadily adopted the End Screen and Cards systems, slowly making annotations obsolete:

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.

The blog gives a brief summary as to why End Screens and Cards are the only options moving forward. YouTube says that the annotation system’s origins goes back to the halcyon days of 2008 before the smartphone revolution connected everyone with a smartphone to the Internet. As a result of that, many people now interact with the Internet via a mobile device, and mobile versions of YouTube don’t use the annotation system. End Screens and Cards work on every system, making them the smarter option to take from a marketing standpoint.

On top of this comes the fact that most people’s only interaction with annotations are rolling eyes followed by a quick click to remove them from the screen. This has led many people to switch off the feature entirely. End Screens are also a lot easier to create and manage, with a range of options to customize your End Screen and Cards.

What do you think of YouTube removing annotations from the service? Let us know in the comment section down below!


Chris Anderson

Assoc. News Editor

I've been playing games since I was just barely able to walk, and I never really stopped playing them. When I'm not fulfilling my duties as senior staff writer and tech reviewer, I'm either working on music, producing one of two podcasts or doing freelance work.


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