YouTube to remove video annotations next year


Annotations have been around for almost ten years.

Screenshot of Matt Elliott / CNET

You will not be able to see annotations on YouTube videos very soon.

On Tuesday, the Google-owned video sharing service announced that it would stop posting video annotations on Jan. 15, citing a drop in the number of people viewing annotated videos. Annotations only work on desktops, YouTube said, but video traffic was moved to mobile, which resulted in fewer viewers. The video sharing service reported that more than 70% of its viewing time was now coming from mobile users.

Annotations allowed video designers to overlay text, links, and information about your videos. Youtube added the tool for videographers in June 2008. The tool consisted of a two-part editor displaying your video on one side and a list of annotations on the other.

In March 2015, YouTube rolled out interactive maps, small icons surrounded by an "i" in the upper right corner of a video. When you click or tap, the icon opens a small interactive panel containing information that the creator wants you to see. They disturb less than annotations.

YouTube stopped using the annotations editor in May 2017. You can no longer add or edit existing annotations, but delete them. Existing annotations always appear when using a desktop, according to a Google publication.

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