Here's a relatively small, but no doubt welcome update from YouTube. As of January 15th, 2019, all YouTube video annotations will be de-activated.
YouTube video annotations are those annoying, pop-up click boxes which appear during playback.
They're pretty outdated - in fact, YouTube discontinued its annotations editor option back in May 2017, which meant that users could no longer add them, only delete them. Now, it's putting them to rest for good.
In addition to this, annotations didn't work on mobile, which is where more YouTube viewing has shifted. YouTube has also provided these reasons and alternatives:
- End screens and cards work on mobile - We launched the annotations editor in 2008, before the world went mobile. With 60% 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? 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 - We’ve found that end screens and cards generate 7 times more clicks across YouTube. 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 - We heard from many creators that adding annotations at the end of your videos is hard. With end screens, we made that process much quicker and easier—in fact, up to 10 times quicker. You can now import end screens from other videos or use dynamic overlays to save yourself even more time.
Again, a fairly minor change considering you couldn't add them anymore anyway, but a good update from the online video leader.