YouTube is finally getting rid of a “legacy” feature that has probably been bugging users for quite some time.
According to the official youtube forum post and informed by Ars TechnicaYouTube will finally retire overlay ads starting April 6, 2023. Overlay ads, or ‘legacy ad format’ as the post refers to the feature, “will no longer appear on YouTube videos even as a format available when you turn on ads in YouTube Studio.”
The post details that the banner ads were only available in desktop mode and were “disturbing to viewers.” YouTube believes this removal will have limited impact on most creators as “engagement shifts to other ad formats.” This makes sense as creators only make money from overlay ads if the viewer clicks on them, and most likely a very small percentage have.
Why is this a big thing?
This is a big move by YouTube, not only because these ads are harmful as they blocked a part of the screen, but also because it is the first time YouTube has removed an ad type.
It shows that the media giant is willing to pay attention to what viewers want and preemptively act accordingly. And this leaves open the possibility for YouTube to re-evaluate other types of ads or even the duration of the ads and decide whether to remove them as well. For example, you could analyze which ad types viewers tend to hit the skip button on, which is an important metric since creators don’t get paid for ads in their videos if the viewer skips them, and then remove that ad type. . .
Regardless, aggressively anti-consumer features should always be removed. It would be nice if they weren’t introduced in the first place, but it might be too much to ask of a corporation.