YouTube To Remove Disliked Feature Next Month

One of the most disliked features on YouTube will be a thing of the past come next month. The global online video sharing and social media platform confirmed in a recent YouTube forum post that overlay advertisements will disappear on April 6, a move the company said is to improve the viewer experience.

Overlay ads have long been one of the most annoying and criticized aspects of YouTube. The ads, which are legacy ads, are displayed only to desktop users and appear at the video's bottom or top as pop-up cards. While viewers can remove the ads by clicking on the 'X' icon at the top, viewers have complained of the ads being obtrusive and blocking the screen. YouTube creators only make a profit off the ads if a viewer clicks on one, which seems to be a rare occurrence since YouTube said in a recent update that it expects "to see limited impact." The company shared that overlay ads "will no longer appear on YouTube videos or as an available ad format" beginning April 6.

"Starting on April 6th, 2023, the "Overlay ads" ad format will no longer appear on YouTube to help improve the viewer experience and shift engagement to higher performing ad formats on desktop and mobile devices," the company announced. "Overlay ads are a legacy ad format that only served on desktop and are disruptive for viewers. We expect to see limited impact for most creators as engagement shifts to other ad formats."

Tom's Guide notes that the move is a major one for YouTube, as it marks the first time the company has removed any type of ad from the site. While overlay ads will soon be a thing of the past, the global online video sharing and social media platform boasts several other types of ads that, at least for the time being, are here to stay. Business Standard reports that display ads, which appear on the right of the feature video on desktop and above the recommended videos on phones as well as desktops, are also used on YouTube. Skippable video ads play either before or during the main video and can be skipped after five seconds, with non-skippable ads generally lasting from 15-30 seconds and having to be watched in their entirety before the main video. YouTube also hosts bumper ads, which last around six seconds and are non-skippable, and sponsored cards, display promotional products on the screen during the video.