In the dedicated support page, it has been mentioned that YouTube will stop showing the existing annotations starting January 15, 2019. “Update: We will stop showing existing annotations to viewers starting January 15, 2019. All existing annotations will be removed,” mentions the post.
With this, YouTube will be ending annotations from its videos forever and will be completely moving on to other such tools to promote content inside a video, such as Cards or End Screens.
This might not be good news for some YouTubers. However, for viewers it may come as a welcome change as they won’t have any element popping up inside a video, taking up space and hampering the overall viewing experience.
In the post, it has been added that “As adoption of end screens and cards has grown, the use of annotations has decreased by over 70%. For this reason, we discontinued annotations editor in May 2017.”
When YouTube discontinued the annotations editor, it said that YouTubers won’t be able to add new or edit existing annotations but only delete them. It was also said that the existing annotations will continue showing up on the desktop computer. But starting January 15 it won’t be the case.
It is worth adding that annotations were only limited to desktop versions and were not visible on mobile. However, Cards and End Screens were visible on mobile as well.
YouTube also said that it launched annotations editor back in 2008 when the world was not much dependant on mobile devices. Now, with 60% of YouTube’s watch time on mobile, these annotations were of pretty much no use. Also mentioned is that End Screens or card are more engaging and easier to create.