YouTube will be giving creators more flexibility with their annotations in the future, according to YouTube Head of Product for Creators and Curators Dror Shimshowitz.
In a video posted on YouTube’s Partner Support channel, he talks about the option of adding annotations linking to partners’ home pages. However, don’t expect all of YouTube to go crazy with annotations anytime soon. Shimshowitz said that it will be rolled out to domains owned by partners in good standing first. The updated annotations feature will be located in the Channel Settings.
With this announcement, creators can soon make it easier for their viewers to check out their websites. By using annotations, viewers are more likely to click to a creator’s website as opposed to finding it in the video description or on the channel’s page. This new feature could be useful, especially if YouTube creators have a regularly updated blog.
However, adding annotations with external links does have its consequences. Shimshowitz warned creators that with a feature like the updated annotations, it could reduce watch time when viewers are sent away from their channels.
“It’s a trade-off between taking them off the site to further engage with them through merchandise and other opportunities versus having them watch more of their videos.”
If content creators are worried about keeping their watch time constant, they should use external link annotations sparingly in cases like contests, a website upgrade and other important announcements that can’t be said in the video.