YouTube has tweaked the rules for the 'end screens' that creators can add to their videos, linking to external websites, including their own merchandise shops and crowdfunding campaigns.
"Your channel needs to join the YouTube Partner Program in order to link to associated websites, crowdfunding, or merchandise sites, so that we can evaluate the validity of the channel, as well as determine whether the channel is following our Community Guidelines," explain the new guidelines.
"This update is meant to curb abuse and does not affect current YouTube partners or the availability of existing end cards. Channels do not have to monetise any videos as part of this requirement."
That seems uncontroversial: most video creators professional enough to be using these end screens will already be registered for monetising their channels.
However, the change sparked controversy when it was misinterpreted as YouTube banning channels from linking to external sites unless their videos were using its advertising.
That would be bad news for channels that prefer to have no ads but make their money from other means. However, YouTube has quickly clarified that those channels can continue as they are: it's just that they have to be registered for monetisation now, even if they don't use it.