How To Add Annotations on Youtube

Youtube is the second most popular search engine after Google. So if you have a Youtube channel of your own, and want to know Youtube add annotations, we have provided you a step-by-step tutorial here. 

We all have watched Youtube videos, and seen those suggestions which appear at the end of the video. These are called annotations. These are physically viewable and clickable layers which appear at the end of Youtube videos. These are very useful for Youtubers or who own Youtube channels, to promote their videos and increase traffic in them.

Note :– The Youtube annotations are now called End Screen.

This feature was introduced by Youtube way back in 2008, but few know the potential of this lesser-known tool. These are very useful if you own your own Youtube channel, and engage your users to take an action, such as Subscribe, go to another video or associated website, etc.

Now let us understand a bit more about end screen before you add them on your Youtube videos:

About Youtube Annotations:-

Your annotation shows pieces of content called “elements”. These can be physically present at the end of your video or hovered over to provide more information about a link or video. Up to 4 elements may be added in a single video (for videos with the standard ratio aspect of 16:19). The limit of the other videos might vary.

Types of Annotations:-

End screens (or annotations) can be added to the last 5-20 seconds of a video.

There can be basically four different types of annotations:

  1. Videos or Playlists: using this type of annotation, you can feature your most recently uploaded videos. Youtube has the feature to automatically select the video which would best suit the viewer’s requirements. It depends upon the viewing history and the interests of an individual viewer. If you don’t want to opt for this option and manually choose the best video suitable for the users, you can pick any video or playlist from your channel, and public or unlisted content. 
  2. Subscribe: These act as a call to actions to ask viewers to subscribe to your channel. 
  3. Approved Websites: This feature is only available to the members of the Youtube Partner Program. This can provide added advantage besides increasing the viewership or subscription to your channel. You can provide here a link to your associated website or approved merchandise or crowdfunding websites. The annotation will show your website’s image by default.

Best Practices For Creating Annotations:-

Here we have listed some best practices for creating annotations before you add them:

  1. Pick up elements which are relevant to your video.
  2. Use a captivating call to actions which will grab a viewer’s attention for different screen elements.
  3. If you are using a custom image for an element, it is recommended to use an image size of at least 300X300 pixel in size.
  4. Make sure you leave enough time at the end of the video for the annotation. A time period of 20 seconds is the minimum recommended period which you must leave at the end of the video.
  5. Use the annotations feature to its full potential. Consider keeping the timings of the annotation elements at different intervals.

Annotations Requirements:-

Not every viewer will be able to watch your annotations while viewing Youtube videos. Here are the devices/situations in which the users would not be able to view your annotations:

  1. on mobile web mode (except iPad mobile web)
  2. in the YouTube Music or YouTube Kids apps.
  3. In Flash videos.
  4. In 360 videos.

Now that you have basic knowledge about annotations and where these can be used, let us now understand the step-by-step procedure on how we can add them at the end of our videos.

How To:–

Add Video Annotations on Youtube

After you have watched a Youtube video, have you ever wondered how to add those clickable buttons that pop up at the end of the video? So if you have a Youtube channel of your own, the annotation feature is a great tool which can allow you to encourage the viewers to take certain actions such as “Subscribe”, “Follow Us”, or “Click Here To Learn More”.

So if you want to add an annotation at the end of your video, you can follow this simple guide:

Note: Before you annotate any video, make sure taht the particular video is already uploaded on Youtube..

Step 1– If you aren’t already logged in, log in to your Youtube account.

Step 2– Go to the left- hand navigation bar and go to your channel page, by clicking on “My Channel”.

Step 3– Choose a video which you would like to annotate.

Step 4–  Click on the “Add Annotations” option to add a new annotation. You can choose from the following different types of annotations:

  • Speech Bubble
  • Note
  • Title
  • Spotlight
  • Labels

Step 5–If you are using the Note annotations, you choose text, size, background colour, and transparency. Keep in mind to choose the exact start and end times of the annotations. To add a link, tick the checkbox next to the “Link” and choose what type of page you would like to link to.

Step 6–Now you can drag the mouse and place the annotations wherever you like to place them on the screen. You can change where the annotations starts and ends by dragging it with your mouse.

Step 7–Use your timeline to move your annotation to a specific time in a video. 

Step 8–Click on the “Publish” button to make your annotations show up in the video.

To help you understand the whole process of adding annotations better, here we have provided you with a video:


If used in a proper manner, Annotations is one of the best marketing tools for videos and is really effective in prompting a user to take a particular action which you want. If you have any doubts regarding how to use annotations, or any other queries related to them, please feel free to write in the comments section below.

About the author

Vivek Tripathi

Vivek Tripathi is the Lead in Research & Development of Editsoft Digital Pvt. Ltd. He is into Digital Marketing for the past 1 year and 6 months. His core areas of interests are Hosting Management, Wordpress Management, Security Configuration, Shopify, Digital Ocean, Graphic Designing, HTML Designing, Marketing Automation, ECommerce Web Development, Dropshipping Marketing, Hacking Support, Wordpress Web Development, Amazon Simple Email Services, Amazon EC2 and Search Engine Optimization.

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