YouTube has announced a new policy change that limits placing external links within the video player to users who are in the Partner Program. However, contrary to earlier uproar, monetization does not need to be enabled.
Google notes that YouTube end screens on desktop and mobile are powerful and help “build viewership” by directing viewers to more videos, playlists, channels, subscription prompts, or promotional links.
The latter linking to external sites has been used by many YouTube creators to promote their websites, crowdfunding pages, and merchandise sites. However, Google is now limiting that ability to those in its YouTube Partner Program.
This program requires 10,000 views and a review of your content by YouTube to ensure that it matches Partner Program policies and Community Guidelines. It is often associated with running ads on a video, with the initial wording that some users saw making them believe that their channel had to be enabled for monetization to place links.
However, Google has clarified (in a statement to The Verge) that once accepted into the Partner Program, monetization does not have to be enabled to place external links on the end screens. YouTube is introducing this new policy to “curb abuse” of the end screens and lines up with one earlier this year that limited monetization to the same 10,000 viewer count.
Links can still be placed in video descriptions, while existing content will not be affected by this change.