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Keep fans engaged with Cards & End Screens as we say goodbye to Annotations Editor

By Muli Salem

Product Manager


We’re committed to helping you reach more fans and keep them engaged. That’s why we built products like Cards and End Screens, which are mobile-friendly tools that let you poll your audience, link to merchandise, recommend videos, and more.

Based on your feedback, we’ve made Cards and End Screens even better over time. You told us you wanted Cards to link to videos within a playlist. So we made it happen. For End Screens, you asked for the ability to import End Screens from other videos and use smart elements. So we incorporated it. We’ll continue to listen to your inputs, as always.

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. We wanted to give you advanced notice so you can adjust. So why now?

  • End Screens and Cards work on mobile: Annotations Editor launched in 2008, before the world went mobile. 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.
  • End Screens and Cards are more engaging for your viewers: 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.
  • End Screens are easier to create: You told us that adding annotations at the end of your videos is hard. With End Screens that process is now much quicker and easier -- in fact, up to ten times quicker. You can now import End Screens from other videos or use dynamic overlays to save yourself even more time.

If you haven’t already, join the many creators who are using End Screens or Cards. As always, thank you for helping build a better YouTube.