YouTube is finally getting rid of a “legacy” feature that has most likely been bugging users for quite some time.
According to the official post on YouTube forum and reported by Ars TechnicaYouTube will permanently phase out overlay ads starting April 6, 2023. The overlay ads, or “legacy ad format,” as the post calls the feature, “will no longer appear on YouTube videos or as an available ad format if you enable advertising in YouTube Studio.”
The post describes that the banner ads were only available in desktop mode and that they were “disruptive to viewers”. YouTube anticipates this removal will have a limited impact on most creators as “engagement shifts to other ad formats.” This makes sense since creators only make money from overlay ads when the viewer clicks on them, and most likely a very small percentage actually did.
Why this is a great thing
This is a great move by YouTube, not only because these ads are actually annoying as they block part of the screen, but also because this is the first time YouTube has actually removed any type of ad.
It shows that the media giant is willing to pay attention to viewers’ wishes and to act preemptively on them. And that leaves YouTube open to re-evaluating other ad types, or even ad length, and deciding whether to withdraw those as well. For example, it could analyze what types of ads viewers tend to click on the skip button — which is an important metric since YouTubers don’t get paid for ads in their videos if the viewer skips them — and then that one Abolish ad type .
Regardless, aggressively anti-consumer features should always be retired. It would be nice if they weren’t rolled out in the first place, but might be asking too much of a company.
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