YouTube annotations are gone for good

July 13, 2017

288 words, a 2 minutes read

YouTube recently disabled the creation of annotations on (new) videos. And all the consumers thank for it while all the producers hate that step. Why is that?

Annotations are a tool to easily fix mistakes baked in the video. Let’s say you make a review of a mobile phone and say that it has a Full HD screen. Turns out it has some higher resolution. With annotations, you could then display a little message correcting you. Now, the tool to use is the info bar. It’s that little info icon in the top right (on desktops) where one can display messages, links or even polls.

Why did YouTube get rid of annotations? Well, it was overused. On some videos, especially those clickbaity FAIL videos, the first thing you did was turn off annotations. On each video, because that choice wasn’t remembered. Additionally, it doesn’t work that well on mobile since text sometimes needs to scale up to still be readable. Annotations were fixed to a certain part of the screen, sometimes even fixing stuff right underneath it (e.g. a fact sheet where you switch out a number). Doing this pixel-perfect stuff on every device may be something of a hassle.

As a consumer, I like the new info bar. It’s cleaner, it works on mobile and it doesn’t interfere. The only thing one can do is display a little text message next to the info button and that’s it.

Why are producers hating that step? Well, it helped them fix blunders. So here’s something for you: fix your stuff before you upload a video. Seriously, you’re now blaming YouTube for not letting you fix your shit. Well don’t produce shit in the first place and you’re all good.