YouTube cards on mobile phone, tablet, and desktop

Youtube improvements: from annotations to cards

Annotations are, or used to be, one of the most underutilized tools available on Youtube. In case you are not familiar with annotations, it’s those colored boxes users can set to pop up a key times and places during their videos:

For more tips on how to use annotations, visit this section of the Creator Academy.

However, the biggest problem with annotations (apart of how some users use it as YouTube’s version of spam!) is that they don’t work on mobile devices.With the introduction of cards, Youtube is taking a slow step into replacing annotations and ensuring a mobile experience up to par with its desktop product. Here is what they had to say about this new feature on their official Youtube Creator blog:

You can think of cards like an evolution of annotations. They can inform your viewers about other videos, merch, playlists, websites and more. They look as beautiful as your videos, are available anytime during the video and yes, they finally work on mobile.

Because cards work across mobile and desktop and give you more flexibility to share what you want, our goal is to have these eventually replace annotations. But this will happen only once they can do everything annotations can do today, and more. Until then, we’re looking forward to your feedback on cards, including what you want them to do for you in the future.

Here’s a quick tutorial on how to use the new cards from the Youtube Help channel:

You can also visit the Cards Help Center for more on this new feature.

While still to recent to really pass a final judgement on this new tool, it looks like Youtube is on the right track with this new feature. We will make sure to keep up with how top users are integrating the new cards into their videos and cool new ways to use them ourselves and we encourage you to do the same, since it looks like annotations are on their way out.

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Ignacio Cassinelli