Since the introduction of TikTok a couple of years ago, everyone seems to have become rather addicted to short-form video content.
This doesn’t make long-form video content irrelevant or somehow less interesting than its shorter sibling, but it has tempted some of the biggest players in the market to get involved.
The latest is YouTube. The Google-owned video giant has recently started rolling out a new feature called ‘Shorts’. Whether or not you’ve heard about it, you’ll doubtless have some questions, which we’re aiming to answer in this blog post.
So – What Are YouTube Shorts?
If you’ve ever used TikTok, YouTube Shorts will feel remarkably similar.
Originally tested in India, YouTube Shorts is still technically in beta, but it’s making its way around the world. You can check if you have access to them by going into any video on the YouTube app, scrolling down and looking for the horizontal list of short videos with short time durations next to each.
YouTube Shorts are limited to 15 seconds of content and are designed to be recorded directly on a user’s smartphone. That’s it. You can add music and change the speed, but not much more (at the moment).
The Shorts themselves will appear, as previously noted, within the feeds of users, but it’s not clear how you make your Shorts more ‘trendable’ – yet.
Who Is It for? What’s the Audience?
This is a fair question. After all, YouTube has traditionally always been intended for longer form video and audiences who are happy to sit down on the sofa and watch for extended periods of time.
If you read through YouTube’s guidance on their new Shorts feature, you’ll discover that they are intended for “creators and artists”.
That’s a tricky definition, because it could be argued that every creator is, in some way, an artist.
It’s more likely that the audience for YouTube Shorts can be divided into the following groups:
- advertisers; and
Brands have jumped on the short-form video that can be found on other platforms such as TikTok and Instagram and it’s almost certain that YouTube wants to tempt them over.
It’s why YouTube is clearly making a big play about the fact that Shorts are discoverable on the home page of the app. That’s prime real estate on YouTube and indicates how important they clearly believe this short-form content will be in the future.
What Sort of Content Suits Shorts?
The good news if you’re looking to try out YouTube Shorts is that it’s as creative as the other platforms it imitates.
If you’ve seen some of the brilliant uses of TikTok, for instance, you’ll get a feel for the kind of content which will work on YouTube Shorts.
The actual content itself is, obviously, entirely up to you, but catchy, memorable videos will work best. It’s good if they can be imitated, too, because one of the biggest reasons for TikTok’s success is the way videos trends based on mass adoption of dances, impressions or challenges.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on YouTube Shorts, but in the meantime look out for it on your app and don’t be afraid to experiment with YouTube Shorts if you want to create some of that content yourself.