Search giant Google has begun rolling out a new short-form video feature on its YouTube platform, called YouTube Shorts.
The news was announced yesterday on the video-sharing platform’s official blog. This new feature allows creators to upload videos of 15 seconds or shorter. Users will be able to piece together shorter clips of video, edit the videos with an array of available tools, alter the speed of the clips, use countdowns and timers to record content hands-free, and add music from its extensive library.
On the new feature, Chris Jaffe, VP of Product Management for YouTube, said:
“Shorts is a new short-form video experience for creators and artists who want to shoot short, catchy videos using nothing but their mobile phones.”
To begin creating a Short, users can go onto the Android version of the YouTube app, click the create icon, and find a new option for creating a Short – YouTube has said it will be expanding onto iOS devices soon. It’s not just videos created with this new feature that can be uploaded, either – any short-form video can be uploaded, and as such, YouTube is currently urging users to upload existing content to the new feature “to start getting discovered”.
Both the videos created with Shorts and those uploaded from elsewhere will feature together on the YouTube’s homepage. Users will be able to view the short-form videos in a carousel, which they can then swipe along vertically to view more.
This new feature will firstly be launching in India for beta testing, with limited features available. However, over time, further features will be added, and YouTube has confirmed that Shorts will be expanding into more countries over the coming months.
The announcement from YouTube comes in the midst of the TikTok phenomenon, which is the current leading short-form video content app. It also comes shortly after Instagram released its own competitor feature, Reels. The similarities between all three are undeniable, and, following in Instagram’s footsteps, YouTube is testing out its new feature in India, where TikTok is banned.
However, there is one crucial difference between the three platforms: the number of users. Currently, there are 700 million active users monthly on TikTok. Instagram has more still, with one billion, but YouTube undeniably comes out on top, with two billion active monthly users. Therefore, the potential reach for Shorts is more than that on Instagram Reels and TikTok combined.
Considering this, it’s worth creators investing some time into YouTube Shorts when it rolls out in their country. As well as being able to reach a much wider audience, YouTube also offers a monetary incentive through AdSense, with TikTok and Instagram Reels as of yet offering no such form of earning an income.
Video is an increasingly popular form of content, with this year seeing a surge in the creation and consumption of short-form videos. Creators should strive to create a repertoire of diverse content in a multitude of forms in order to increase their reach and engagement. If you need help or advice on creating effective content of your own, get in touch with our team at Engage Web today.