YouTube cards are here!

Video creators: say goodbye to YouTube annotations as you know them! Okay, maybe not just yet—but starting today, YouTube is rolling out their their long-anticipated “cards” feature, bringing you streamlined calls to action that display seamlessly across both web and mobile devices!

How can you use YouTube cards?

Cards work very similarly to how annotations have worked in the past. From your Video Manager on YouTube, click the arrow next to the edit button, and choose the new cards feature.

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When you’re on the new cards page, scrub to the timecode where you’d like to add a new call to action. Then click “Add card.”

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Drive viewers to websites, videos, playlists, merch stores, and more

At the moment, you can insert cards that link out to a few different destinations:

  • Associated website
  • Fan funding
  • Fundraising
  • Merchandise
  • Video or playlist

Adding a card will place the call to action at the top right corner of your video, no matter what type of device it’s being viewed on.

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You can add multiple cards per video, which will change based on where the viewer is in the video.

What do cards look like?

From a viewer’s perspective, cards are very subtle nudges to new content. When a viewer hits the start point of a card, it’ll expand to show them the nudge (as you can see below).

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After a few seconds (and until the next card hits), the card will collapse to let the viewer focus on your content.

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Once a viewer clicks on the cards, the full set of actions that you included in your video will be available to see and interact with—not just the action that’s currently visible, like it was with annotations.

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Are annotations going away?

It’s unlikely that we’ll see annotations vanish right away. YouTube would like their new mobile-friendly cards to replace annotations, but they say this will happen only when cards “can do everything annotations can do today, and more.”