This is YouTube's new Cards feature that the company sees as an evolution of annotations.
A click on the icon opens a card which displays additional information related to the video and added by the maker of the video.
According to YouTube, five different types of cards are currently supported on the site: merchandise, fundraising, video, playlist and associated website.
All have in common that they link to something. Website, video and playlists are probably the easiest as they are used to link to an external website, another video or a playlist.
Merchandise is similar to website but with the difference that it links to a shop where an item can be purchased.
Fundraising finally links to fundraising websites, for instance to Patreon or Kickstarter.
Here are two screenshots that highlight a fundraising card.
All video creates can add cards to their videos as of now. This is done in the following way:
When you select fundraising or merchandising, you are informed that only some external links are currently permitted. The full list of permitted sites is available here.
This restriction does not apply to linking to an associated website. While that is the case, you need to agree to YouTube's external links terms and conditions before you can add a site.
It states that the site you are linking to needs to comply with AdWords policies, YouTube ads policies and YouTube community guidelines.
One interesting aspect of Cards for creators is that they work on mobile as well.
The Cards icon is displayed at all time in the upper right corner. It is likely that video creators can change that but in the worst case, it appears all the time on the video screen.
There are two options to deal with Cards on YouTube:
When you do that, the i icon is not displayed anymore.
Cards provide creators with additional options to link to content that is important to them. Expect lots of videos to make use of the feature in the near future.
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.