July 29, 2021

Introducing YouTube Shorts

According to the platform, YouTube Shorts are a new ‘short-form video experience for creators and artists who want to shoot short, catchy videos using nothing but their mobile phones’.

YouTube is usually thought of as a long-form video sharing platform, and they have very few competitors in this area. However, with the rise of Instagram Reels and TikTok, it seems YouTube want a piece of the short and sweet action.

YouTube explain ‘As technology advances, creators and artists can now take advantage of the incredible power of smartphones to easily create and publish high-quality content wherever they are in the world. And people can be entertained and informed by bite-sized content in the spare minutes of the day’.

From their description of the new product, it appears YouTube is looking to reach two new audiences: Creators and Viewers. 

Content Creators

Creators are encouraged to utilise their smartphones to share 15 seconds or fewer clips to YouTubes 2 billion monthly viewers looking to ‘laugh, learn and connect.’ 

Creators will have access to new features such as the option to include music from YouTubes library of songs, a multi-segment camera to string video clips together and speed controls. 

If YouTube is looking to compete with the likes of TikTok, they will need to consider both the creator incentive (similar to the TikTok Creator Fund) and, of course, the viewer experience. 

For creators, YouTube has announced “each month, we’ll reach out to thousands of creators whose Shorts received the most engagement and views to reward them for their contributions.” – although it’s not clear how generous this reward will be.

youtube shorts

Shorts Viewer Audiences

New audiences may find themselves turning to YouTube as their go-to platform for the latest short videos – at least this is what YouTube Shorts is hoping for. These viewers will be able to find Shorts on the YouTube homepage in a dedicated ‘short video’ space. 

However, YouTube may have quite the task ahead. Recently, Twitter announced they would be removing their ‘Fleets’ (think Instagram Stories) feature because it didn’t have the desired outcome and engagement levels with their users. 

Some platform improvements are an instant hit, which relies on both creator passion and viewer engagement, so it will be interesting to see which way Shorts go. 

What Do YouTube Shorts Mean For Businesses?

When Social Media platforms launch new features and improvements it can sometimes be overwhelming for businesses to keep up to date and master the new trends.

However, it’s mostly good news when features are added because it leads to users becoming reengaged and, hopefully, new potential audiences. 

Any products that make content creation easier for businesses is a win in our eyes and YouTube is encouraging users to jump straight in and share any short videos they already have – perhaps existing TikTok’s or Reels.

As it’s a shiny new offering, it’s likely that YouTube will look to prioritise ‘Shorts’ content above longer video posts for the time being, which means businesses looking to reach new audiences across YouTube will need to move fast.

It’s also likely that YouTube Ads will include a Shorts placement down the line, similar to how Instagram Stories or the TikTok feed have intermittent Ad breaks. 

Creating A Short

Although still in Beta, now when anyone in the UK launches the YouTube App they will have the option to ‘Create a Short’. 

youtube shorts

From here, creators can shoot up to 15 seconds of footage within the YouTube App, set a timer, amend the speed and include music.

Thanks to YouTube being established on the music front, there is a substantial library available.

Similar to TikTok, viewers will be able to click on the music at the bottom of the Short and be redirected straight to it. At the same time, creators can click on a song and create their own Short using it. 

create a youtube short
add music to shorts

Once they are happy with the footage, creators can add text, amend their ‘timeline’ to better align footage with the music and even overlay a filter. If you have existing footage in your camera roll, there is also the option to upload this to the app.

We recommend having a play around with the new feature to understand how it works, where it fits into your marketing strategy and how best your brand can utilise it and YouTube in general. 

If you feel the current features and functionality of Shorts it somewhat limiting, watch this space because YouTube promise there’s more to come.

For example, some creators can already film clips up to 60 seconds, plus the pending introduction of automatic captions. 

If you are not sure if Shorts are right for you or where you should be spending your time on social media, we provide social media consultation calls to help.

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