YouTube has announced that as of May 2 the annotations editor will be discontinued! From then onwards you won’t have the option to create or edit existing annotations, though already published annotations will still be available on desktop, as they were before, and creators will be able to delete them, in order to be consistent with the elements available across all videos.
One can assume that this move was going to eventually be announced by the platform, after launching more interactive and mobile friendly features: End Screens and Cards. As you will already know both end screens and cards lead viewers to different videos, playlists, external websites or even channels that you have collaborated with, and all these are clickable on desktop and more importantly, on mobile.
Since the introduction of end screens and cards, the use of annotations has significantly dropped by 70% leading YouTube to this decision. Annotations were launched in 2008, before mobile use skyrocketed. However, with more than 50% of YouTube users coming from mobile devices, it comes as no surprise that the use of annotations has decreased.
To recap: don’t forget that as of May 2 inserting annotations will no longer be available, so now’s a great time to start systematically using cards and end screens.