Though helpful for engaging viewers, annotations can be abused. Most of us have likely encountered some YouTube video plastered with annotations that irritate rather than help the viewer. The question is, then, will Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL)’s new YouTube feature be the same?
From a business standpoint, Cards are better than annotations as they work on mobile.
“You can think of cards like an evolution of annotations. They can inform your viewers about other videos, merch, playlists, websites and more. They look as beautiful as your videos, are available anytime during the video and yes, they finally work on mobile,” product manager Muli Salem writes for the announcement of the new feature on the YouTube Creators blog.
This means that a largely untapped segment of the YouTube viewing community – people who are watching videos online – can now be targeted by Cards. It’s not clear at the moment, but Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) will likely find a way to monetize the things creators can do with Cards in addition to the ads displayed when viewing videos on mobile devices.
Still, the fact remains that people find a way to use Cards in a manner that annoys people, which may then lead to lesser video views overall.
To be fair, however, based on the early knowledgebase entry for Cards, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is keeping it hidden from view. Only a teaser which is a circle with an “i” icon overlaid on the video will indicate to the viewer that the video they are viewing has a Card. To view the card, viewers will have to click or tap on this teaser. Even then, it appears that the Card will slide out of the video’s corners and not be placed in the middle of the video or on top of the whole video.
According to Salem, there are six Card types, Merchandise, Fundraising, Video, Playlist, Associated Website and Fan Funding. He also pointed out that Cards will only replace annotations “only once they can do everything annotations can do today, and more.”
Boykin Curry’s Eagle Capital Management owned 774,750 Class A Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) shares by the end of 2014.
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