Recently YouTube announced a new creative way to dress up videos on your channel. The new ‘cards’ feature allows users the ability to insert sales merchandise information, other video uploads, and YouTube playlists. This feature is particularly handy for content creators and avid YouTube enthusiasts. Media networks can also take advantage of this feature by inlaying an interactive option within individual videos for improved user engagement.

One of the ideas behind YouTube cards was to particularly enhance mobile experience. For the longest time annotations for mobile YouTube videos were perpetrating the overall user experience. Google’s answer to that dilemma was the introduction of YouTube cards in attempt to enhance user interaction.

What are YouTube Cards?

In simpler terms, YouTube cards are enhanced annotations that can be inserted as an overlay within individual videos on a YouTube channel.

YouTube cards

I believe that YouTube cards are still in infancy stage though. For example, as it stands you are unable to change the order in which they are added. Therefore, it’s important to be cognizant of the way each YouTube card is added for a succinct user interaction. The inclusion of these YouTube cards can be accomplished in the video manager section of your channel while editing each individual video.

Current YouTube cards features include the following capabilities:

  • Associate Website – the ability to create an association of a website including a CTA, heading, and image snippet.
  • Fundraising – if you’re running a fundraising campaign, this is an ideal way to get other users to contribute towards a cause. Particularly handy for non-profit organizations who may frequently be running a variety of fundraisers.
  • Merchandise – selling a product? Google offers a list of approved retailers for which you can create an association with your YouTube videos. These are referred to as whitelisted urls. Fancy name, right?
  • Video or Playlist – this is perhaps the coolest of all YouTube cards features. It allows YouTube fanatics with ability to associate one or more videos with a pre-existing one. See screenshot above for an example. Additionally, you can also attribute a full playlist for an additional level of interaction.

There is no designated point of inclusion of YouTube cards within specific videos. In other words, they can be inserted at any point of a video. Typically they will run from beginning to an end of a video.

YouTube cards suggested videos

Look for the “I” information icon in the upper right-hand corner of individual videos for the YouTube cards. At times, usually in the beginning of a video a slide out from left-to-right will appear offering suggested videos.

Personally I’ve acclimated to the new YouTube cards feature already and adapting a good portion of my pre-existing videos.

Are you using YouTube cards? Would love to hear your thoughts and comments in the section below. Check out my YouTube channel for more information.