In a blog post, the video site said that the use of annotations has decreased by more than 70% as users adopt ‘end screens’ and ‘cards’ – mobile-friendly tools that can be used to recommend videos, and link to other content such as merchandise or an associated website.
“Annotations Editor launched in 2008, before the world went mobile. With 60% 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?” said YouTube product manager, Muli Salem.
“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.”
YouTube claimed that ‘end screens’ and ‘cards’ are more engaging for viewers, generating seven times more clicks across YouTube than annotations. It also said that end screens are quicker and easier to create than annotations.