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YouTube is replacing annotations with more obstructive 'cards' that also work on mobile

By Shawn Knight · 8 replies
Mar 16, 2015
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  1. youtube google videos content creators cards youtube videos annotations

    YouTube is replacing its annoying video annotations with a new “cards” system that looks a bit classier albeit more obstructive. Here’s what you can expect to see on both desktops and mobile devices moving forward.

    For content creators, the big difference between annotations and cards is that they also work on mobile devices. As before, they can be used to inform viewers about other videos, merchandise, playlists, websites and more. And just like annotations, cards can be set to surface anytime during a video.

    YouTube currently offers six types of cards: Associated Website, Fan Funding, Fundraising, Merchandise, Playlist and Video. Content creators will find a new cards tab in the video editor.

    youtube google videos content creators cards youtube videos annotations

    The Google-owned company said that because they work across desktop and mobile, cards will ultimately replace annotations. That won’t happen until they can do everything that annotations can and there’s currently no timeline as to when the replacement will go into effect.

    For video viewers, cards are the natural progression of annotations. They look nicer than the plain Jane annotations you’re used to although they do hamper viewing a bit. Hopefully, content creators will use them sparingly although if current usage of annotations are any indication, that’s probably little more than wishful thinking.

    The good news is that cards can be disabled, just like annotations – something that I’m willing to bet many people weren’t aware of. The option to turn them off can be found in YouTube’s settings menu under the playback category.

    Permalink to story.

  2. AnonymousSurfer

    AnonymousSurfer TS Guru Posts: 452   +40

    As a content creator and viewer, these cards are less obstructive than the annotations. Instead of spamming your viewers screen with multiple annotations to get a few videos advertised, it is now handled by one small icon in the top right hand corner of the screen. It also gives more features to what content you want to display (so not just videos, but playlists, donation buttons, website links, etc). And last but not least (and definitely my favorite), when you click on the center of the screen to pause the video there aren't those hidden annotations that direct you to another video. If you want to talk about obstructive and annoying, the hidden annotations were really the leaders in that list. I like em, but maybe I'm biased.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  3. Experimentongod

    Experimentongod TS Addict Posts: 253   +98

    I haven't seen annotations on Youtube videos in years. Just use any of the multiple useful browser addons available to "clean" Youtube (they are disabled by default).
  4. tomkaten

    tomkaten TS Maniac Posts: 214   +123

    *cough Magic Actions for YouTube™ *cough
    john cubert likes this.
  5. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,023   +2,894

    I did everything I could to clean up my YouTube viewing so annotations were one of the 1st things I killed when I set it up, along with installing a bunch of add-ons and ad blockers, funnily enough a lot of the add-ons come from Google themselves. Content creators and presenters are smart though, they waffle on about their sponsors during the video which they are entitled and expected to do, so thats where the slider at the bottom of the video comes in handy for me.
    I'm happy with the way things are working for me now, I hope they don't complicate things with this.
  6. AnonymousSurfer

    AnonymousSurfer TS Guru Posts: 452   +40

    I agree with this. Sometimes the annotations are very useful, but it's annoying if the creator forces it on you. I like the new setup they have with the cards system, and hopefully as you said they don't complicate it too much. Youtube has done a good job in the past at screwing up things that work perfectly well
  7. tomkaten

    tomkaten TS Maniac Posts: 214   +123

    Yeah, look at the commenting system... It's now an unreadable mess of intertwined YT and Google+ posts.
  8. Then you weren't using them correctly. Annotations are supposed to be completely invisible, and it relies on your ability to add the graphics in the video itself.

    Plus now you can't put 6 things on screen because you limited to 5 things, and they will all always be there if a user clicks, so you can't just have one thing.

    I'm thinking you're a bad video developer. If I knew your channel, I'd be adblocking you.
  9. AnonymousSurfer

    AnonymousSurfer TS Guru Posts: 452   +40

    First off, I rarely used annotations because the kind of videos I make aren't good for adding graphics with annotations like you have suggested, unless it's on the end of the video. The problem with only adding annotations to the end of the video is that majority of viewers do not watch the entire video, so you wouldn't get your point across to the majority you are trying to. The limit of 5 cards isn't that big of a deal, as most content creators don't go over 5 annotations per video. If they are, it gets excessive as I stated above.

    I'm glad you don't know my youtube channel, as you sound like the viewer no one wants to subscribe to them. I'd guess that you're one of those guys who subscribes so you can dislike every video uploaded, regardless of content. And if the annotations in the video are the "make it or break it" decision for you to decide how good a video is, you are poorly misinformed.

    Oh, and I use adblock myself so I hold no grudges to my viewers who use it for my videos. If they like the videos enough, they'll make the conscious decision to turn adblock off and click on an ad. Otherwise, adblock or not people who don't click on the ads are just lumped into one category. It's not like I make money off those who aren't using adblock but also don't click on any of the ads. It would by hypocritical for me to rant about my viewers using adblock while at the same time I use it.

    So have a nice day, enjoy your poor expectations for content creators, and learn to look for the content of the video, not the ability to add previous videos with annotations over the top. Maybe one day when you start a channel and get a following you'll understand what I'm talking about.

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