YouTube officially announced today a new tool End Screens to keep users engaged with the YouTube app and creators’ content.
With End Screens, creators can include small overlays during the last 20 seconds of a video that prompt viewers to subscribe to their channel, watch another video, and more.
The feature was already in testing with select creators ahead of this announcement, which now makes End Screens a feature any video publisher can use.
It’s also meant to serve as something of an upgrade to the older, desktop-only tool called Annotations. With Annotations, creators could make their own end screens of sorts, by manually adding clickable links to videos.
According to YouTube’s documentation, End Screens can be incorporated anywhere within the last 5 to 20 seconds of a video, and can include up to four elements. In addition to promoting a creator’s own videos and encouraging users to subscribe, the feature can also point viewers to other videos, playlists, or channels on YouTube, or can be used to promote non-YouTube content, like websites, merchandise for sale, or crowdfunding campaigns.
When a user hovers over an End Screen on the desktop or taps on them on their mobile device, the End Screens will then expand to display more information.
While for creators, the goal, of course, is to point viewers to useful resources or self-promote. But for YouTube overall, End Screens could help to increase mobile users’ time in the app.
Already, YouTube is one of the top apps on users’ smartphones, and in particular sees heavy traction among younger users and millennials.