YouTube adds ‘vanity card’ feature for channels

YouTube is now letting brand channels add a three second clips before videos uploaded to the popular site.

The “channel branding intros,” as YouTube calls them, can be retroactively added all videos on a channel or only ones after a certain date and can also be changed at any time.

The feature is similar in many ways to the “vanity cards” often added before feature films or at the end of TV shows.

Although not as popular as private label video hosting that comes with the content management systems used by many TV newsrooms, there are still many stations that post at least some news videos on YouTube — so this feature could be handy for them.

Here are the steps to set up the channel branding intro to your videos:

  1. Upload the three-second intro video you’d like to use to your channel as an unlisted video.
  2. On your channel’s InVideo Programming page, click “Add a channel branding intro” and select the intro from a list of eligible videos.
  3. Select which videos you want the intro to appear on. You can choose whether to add it to all of your videos, or just the ones you’ve uploaded after a certain date. You can always remove or change the intro later.

A word of caution, however — YouTube says the feature cannot be used for advertising, sponsorships or product placements since it is meant mainly for promoting the brand that owns and runs the YouTube channel.

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