Say hello to YouTube’s latest feature to work in your favour: YouTube Cards. What the heck are they, you ask? Well, they’re about to become your new BFF if you’re a fan of using YouTube as another social media platform to engage with your target audience.

Why should you cosy up with YouTube Cards?

We’re guessing you’re already familiar with annotations – clickable text overlays on YouTube videos – which can be utilised by the video creator to engage the viewer, provide more valuable information and aid navigation. YouTube Cards are the next step in the evolution process and here’s why you should get on board.

Firstly, they’ve been developed to give you more flexibility in the additional information you can share with your viewers. This is especially handy if you want to give them a massive nudge in the direction of your website or tell them about other videos, playlists or merchandise.

Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, they work on mobile devices. Thirdly, they’re easier on the eye than annotations and promise to ‘look as beautiful as your videos.’ And finally, you can monitor your cards’ performances via YouTube Analytics. What’s not to like?

How do they work?

As with annotations, you control the content and when it appears on your video. Unlike annotations, cards don’t pop up randomly inciting a knee-jerk reaction from the viewer to turn them off. Instead, an information icon appears in the top right-hand corner of your video at the designated start time, inviting the curious to click and take a peek at the card or cards associated with your video.

Currently, six types of cards are available for you to utilise, Associated WebsiteMerchandiseVideoPlaylistFundraising andFan Funding. Don’t forget to click on the videos’ information icons in these examples to see the cards in action.

What’s the catch?

As with all new features there are limitations, but they don’t spell the end of the world. YouTube Cards are limited to five per video and you can’t specify where you would like them to sit within the video window. Currently, they appear down the right-hand side unless you are viewing in portrait orientation on a mobile, when they appear below the video.

Other restrictions include not being able to choose the size of your card or change the colours associated with it, but we’re hopeful these aspects will be improved as YouTube Cards develop.

Hit the road, Jack

Whilst the annotations feature is still currently available, YouTube Cards will eventually replace them, but not until they can do everything that annotations can do and more. Until then you have both at your disposal.

Itching to get started? You can create and edit your YouTube Cards at any time via the ‘Cards’ tab in your Video Editor.

Just remembered your website’s not responsive? Not a problem, get in touch and we’ll sort that out for you.