YouTube to phase out annoying annotation pop-up boxes

As of May 2, you won’t have to close any more of those frustrating text boxes that block your view of the latest YouTube video, with the company announcing in a blog post that it will be removing the Annotations Editor entirely.

The Google-owned video giant cites a number of reasons for killing off its annotation feature, among them is that it never worked for mobile, and that there’s been a 70% decrease in usage of the feature since video-makers began adopting the (more effective) Cards and End Screens features.

It’s worth noting that any videos that make use of annotations before the May 2 deadline will keep them when viewed on desktop, so now’s the time to make some super-annoying hot content, just for the memories.

'Viewers generally don’t love Annotations'

As mentioned, YouTube is hoping to completely replace annotations with revamped versions of the existing Cards and End Screens options, both touting refinements based on user feedback.

End Screens are relatively harmless and easy to click out of once a video’s finished – it’s that bit at the end where the host begs for subscribers and points at links to their other videos.

Cards, however, are essentially just a slightly less intrusive version of Annotations. They can be used for the usual video or external links, but can also include things like polls and donations links. 

Thankfully, these occupy a standardised amount of space, hovering over the side of the video for mobile users or appearing underneath desktop videos, which has to be at least somewhat of a relief from obnoxious full-video annotations.

Harry Domanski
Harry is an Australian Journalist for TechRadar with an ear to the ground for future tech, and the other in front of a vintage amplifier. He likes stories told in charming ways, and content consumed through massive screens. He also likes to get his hands dirty with the ethics of the tech.