Regular YouTube poster probably already know this, but this week YouTube changed the way that Annotations work.

The biggest impact is that YouTube explicitly tells us that Annotations will not work on mobile devices. I'm not sure if they ever did before, but it is now definitely not today. So, if you had any links in your older videos, they won't show up on mobile devices.

YouTube has added "End Screens" to use instead of Annotations. In fact, you cannot use both Annotations and End Screens at the same time.

End Screens allow you to set up something that behaves a little the the "Cards" that YouTube added a while back. An End Screen can have several links (there are four types) to the end of your video for things like helping a viewer to subscribe or go to another video or playlist of yours. The End Screen seems to default to a 20 second segment, so what I've done is created a 20 second video that gets appended to the end of each video. I then add on the End Screen links. Fortunately, once you've done these steps for one video, you can import the same links to another video.

While the End Screens are more convenient and work on PCs and mobile devices, their link requirements are such that they may be incompatible with Annotations that you were previously using. You can still add the End Screen links to an old video by first clicking a button to remove Annotations, followed by adding in the new End Screen links. The new End Screen links, however, may not fit onto your previous graphics (as is my case) so you may have to be a little creative. Also, if you use End Screen links, at least one of them must be a link to another video or playlist. I'm not sure why this requirement exists, but it means you might have to be creative again.

I've not done a very good job explaining things here, but regular YouTube creators will just have to get in and play around with the End Screen tools to see what works or not for past and future videos. In my opinion, once you start to create videos to accommodate End Screens, you do save time and results can be nicer. But, chances are that your older videos won't work with End Screens as well (you also have to decide if you want to "upgrade" any of your older videos or not).