As YouTube continues to push the “cards” it launched in 2015, it is discontinuing several redundant tools. One of the casualties of YouTube’s new annotation strategy is in-video notifications, which will become unavailable on December 14.
You may not know in-video notifications by name, but if you’ve spent a lot of time on YouTube over the past few years, you’ve probably seen them. They’re small black bars that pop up in the middle of videos and direct viewers to external links. When clicked, they often lead to streaming sites like Twitch, YouNow, and MLG, in hopes of promoting live viewership.
In a blog post, YouTube noted that it chose to cut in-video notifications from its creator toolset because cards and end screens are better at driving traffic to external links. “Only one in twenty people click on the suggested link,” reads the post. “Even worse, for the small percentage of users who do click on the link, they’re often taken to a live stream that no longer exists. As a result, many fans complain that it feels like spam.”
In-video notifications will join other bygone YouTube features like annotations and paid channels, both of which have been made obsolete by YouTube’s card technology. Instructions for adding cards to videos are available via Google’s support page. If you need suggestions for how to use cards to engage with your viewers, you can find them over at the YouTube Creator Academy.