YouTube calls the new Cards feature as "an evolution of annotations." The Cards help video creators inform viewers about other videos, playlists, websites and more, much like what annotations did. YouTube claims that the Cards "look as beautiful as your videos, are available anytime during the video and yes, they finally work on mobile."
With the rollout of Cards, YouTube has fixed one of the limitations of annotations as Cards will work on desktop as well as mobiles. Interestingly, the new Cards do not pop up by themselves, and users can only see a Card's content when they click on the 'info' symbol that appears when a user hovers the cursor over the video on desktop, or when the player controls are visible on mobile.
Currently, there are six types of cards available for video creators on YouTube including Merchandise, Fundraising, Video, Playlist, Associated Website and Fan Funding. A new "Cards" tab now appears in the Video Editor, and will allow uploaders create and edit cards at any time."Because cards work across mobile and desktop and give you more flexibility to share what you want, our goal is to have these eventually replace annotations," writes Muli Salem, Product Manager, YouTube in a blog post.
Google further details the new YouTube Cards on its support page, noting, "They are applied on a per video basis and are rendered on desktop and mobile devices. You can provide a destination URL from a list of eligible sites and, depending on the card type, customise an image, title, and call-to-action text."
About the working, Cards can also be designated to show up at any time as teasers that will appear for a few seconds - viewers who click on the teaser can view the card. Video creators can check performance reporting of each Card via YouTube Analytics and the Card will also work on live streams.
Announced alongside YouTube Cards, YouTube for Artists brings new tools for musicians to connect with fans and also promote programs to help get discovered. YouTube for Artists also brings a way for musicians to sell merchandise and promote their shows directly within the video - through the new Cards feature. The tools also allow fans to directly contribute money to a channel through Fan Funding.
YouTube, announcing the news, said, "We're also working on a new data tool for artists that will show you where your fans are located at the city level, as well as show the total number of views from your official music videos and fan uploads through Content ID. This will help you figure out where to promote your next single to your fans, the best time zone to release your next video or where you might route your next tour."