YouTube Evolves Cards from Annotations

YouTubeThe mobile user experience has taken precedence over the laptop or desktop appearance for a major social media site – YouTube. It has introduced “cards” with the eventual objective of replacing the annotations feature since annotations don’t work on mobile phones.

Annotations and Cards

Annotations enable video creators to create text overlays for their videos. The purpose of annotations has been to increase viewer engagement and give them more information while also aiding navigation. The cards feature would replace annotations and provide a new interface, which has been conceived to work well in mobile screen resolutions as well.

Quite as you’d have imagined, these cards are rectangular and you’ll find them on the right hand side of the video. Accessible by a click, cards will provide users more information and connect them to other related content. YouTube claims this isn’t a dramatic development, but just an evolved feature of the earlier annotations. The card-style has been crucially found across Google’s products.

Six Kinds of Cards on Offer

YouTube now offers six kinds of cards from the Cards tab found in the Video Editor – cards for merchandise demonstration, video, playlist, fundraising, fan funding and associated website. For using the cards, video creators need to give a destination URL from an eligible site list. Depending on the kind of card, video creators can customize the call to action text, image and title.

Here’s how it works:

  • For some seconds after the video starts, the card would appear as a mini teaser
  • Clicking the teaser would enable viewers to directly access the card
  • During the video, when users hover over the teaser on the laptop or when player controls appear on the mobile, a small icon would appear which, if clicked, would enable the users to scroll through all the cards that are available describing that video
  • The teaser can also be ignored by the viewers, enabling them to have an uninterrupted viewing experience
  • The cards are applied on a video-to-video basis

Cards Still in Experimental Stage

This is quite a relevant update for video marketers, since annotations have been the primary means for getting users hooked to related videos. But cards are still in their experimental stages.

YouTube isn’t planning to replace annotations yet, since cards have not matured enough to perform all their functions. Video creators cannot, for example, choose the size or location of a card, there isn’t color customization available yet, and only five cards are allowed per video. YouTube is open to response from video creators for fine tuning its product which is sure to have a great impact on mobile SEO.

About Monica Barber

Monica Barber

Monica Barber is the Internet Marketing Manager of MOS, a leading BPO company in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She joined the MOS team in 2013 bringing with her a wealth of experience in SEO, Social Media, web design and Internet Marketing management. She has successfully designed digital marketing campaigns for Fortune 500 and small to mid-size companies and continues creating new MOS digital strategies to keep up with Google’s everchanging algorithms.