YouTube
August 18, 2017: Youtube video service on laptop screen close-up. Youtube service menu (PixieMe / Shutterstock.com)

YouTube has blocked users their ability to link out to external sites in their end cards. Many YouTube users use end cards to link to further monetize their video content. For example, YouTubers could sell merchandise and Patreon pages where fans can donate money to support their projects.

YouTube Partner Program

As of Friday, the feature is now exclusively available to members of the YouTube Partner Program. That said, it is arguably difficult to join the program as a user needs to have 10,000 public views to be eligible for the program. Moreover, their application needs to be approved by YouTube.  According to YouTube, the company decided to change their platform to prevent users from ripping off other people’s video and copyrighted content and making money from it. Creators do not have to monetize their channel to use end cards, but they need to gain enough attention and prove they are not making money from other people’s work.

YouTube
New York, USA – August 22, 2017: Youtube application menu on smartphone screen close-up. (PixieMe / Shutterstock.com)

“In order to use externally-linking end cards in videos, creators are being asked to join the YouTube Partner program, so that we can evaluate the validity of the channel, as well as determine whether the channel is following our community guidelines and advertiser policies,” YouTube explained in a statement. “This update is meant to curb abuse and does not affect current YouTube partners or existing end cards. Additionally, channels do not have to actually monetize any videos as part of this requirement.”

The change does not stop people from adding links in video descriptions. You are no longer able to put them front of their screens without YouTube’s approval.