On Friday, YouTube released a video featuring Dror Shimshowitz, the Head of Product for Creators and Curators. Among some of the changes that were announced in this video were Merch Annotations, in which you can sell your merchandise (and only your merchandise) through annotated links rather than the Merch Store, also In-Video Programming, which we touched on recently, and Associated Website Annotations, which will allow creators to link to their own website from annotations in the video, rather than having people search for a link somewhere in the description.
Off-Site Annotation Linking w/ Associated Website Annotations
Dror talks about the new feature in this video, which is cued to the 3:53 mark:
As of now, channels in good standing can link to their website through their channel (associated website), and a handy link sits on the channel page or description of the video. This means that if you really want someone to go visit your site, you hope they remember to go look for the link, or even want to find the link. With associated website annotations, creators can give a live link to the website in the video, which makes it easier for the viewer to find and is more likely to be clicked.
Now, this is a pilot, it's not an official launch, but should it prove successful in this phase they are going to make this a regular feature. Also, they hope to make it where creators can link to multiple websites in the future.
This is good news for those who run a website where you might run contests, sell merchandise, interact with fans, or anything where you are not constrained by certain rules of YouTube. And when this launches, it will be very easy for viewers to visit a creator's website on demand.