YouTube, the popular video streaming platform, has recently announced that it will be discontinuing the “Overlay ads” ad format, as it was not user-friendly and hampering the viewing experience for desktop users, starting April 6, 2023.

For those unaware, “Overlay ads” (also called banner advertisements) – the company’s most infuriating advertisement format – is a legacy ad format that appears at the bottom of YouTube videos or on top as pop-up cards when they are accessed on YouTube’s desktop website.

Clicking on the ‘X’ icon at the top of these ads can remove these videos while clicking on these ads will redirect the user to another platform off YouTube.

The decision to do away with overlay ads in April was confirmed by the Google-owned platform in a YouTube Help Forum page, which was first spotted by 9To5Google.

Effective April 6, 2023, overlay ads will no longer appear on YouTube videos or as an available ad format when the ads in YouTube Studio are turned on. Further, the change applies not only to the desktop version of YouTube but also to the mobile version.

As far as YouTube creators are concerned, the removal of the overlay ads option will have a “limited impact” for most creators, as the majority of the user base has shifted to other ad formats on desktop and mobile devices.

While YouTube has not shared details about what these “higher performing ad formats” will be, it said that they will be available on both desktop and mobile devices.

Moving forward, YouTube will focus on pre, mid, and post-video ads instead of placing an ad over the video that you are viewing.

“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,” Jensen, a community manager at TeamYouTube wrote in the announcement on YouTube’s Help Forum page.

“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.”

Meanwhile, earlier this month, YouTube disabled new posts and comments on its English help forum, as it switched to read-only mode before “improvements” in “the next several months”.

“Unfortunately, many threads are not relevant for user-based discussion and a large amount of questions go unanswered. Our goal is to ensure this can be a helpful space for all of you, so we’ll be using this time and these experiments to inform the long-term plan for this forum — more to come,” as per the YouTube Help page.

According to the company, the update is only relevant to this YouTube English Community forum.

Other languages are not affected as “those separate forums are experiencing quality user questions and user-based discussion, with the large majority of forum threads getting answers or comments in a timely manner.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here