YouTube Shorts: Everything You Need To Know

YouTube Shorts: Everything You Need To Know

Feb 14, 2022 12 min read

YouTube was seen as the home of high-quality and long-form video content online. However, with apps such as TikTok and Instagram booming with short-form videos, YouTube also wanted in on a piece of the action. Launched on September 14, 2020, YouTube Shorts has quickly become a phenomenon today.

YouTube Shorts are a mobile-only way for creators of YouTube to share catchy, off-the-cuff short-form videos with their audiences.

In this blog, we will tell you everything you need to know about YouTube Shorts and will also give you lots of tips, tricks, and best practices to make sure your Shorts are top-notch! Let's get started!

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What Are YouTube Shorts?

YouTube Shorts is YouTube's attempt to compete with short-form video apps. Since TikTok was banned in India in June 2020, it is considered one of the major reasons why YouTube chose to release their beta version of Shorts only in India at first.

YouTube Shorts Algorithm

Image Source: Theverge

If you type #shorts in the YouTube search bar, you will see a number of short vertical videos posted. Currently, YouTube has 25 million Shorts and 2.9 million channels posting Shorts under #shorts. The YouTube Shorts player has now surpassed 6.5 billion daily views.

Just like TikTok, YouTube Shorts features short video content of up to 60 seconds in a vertical format that you can scroll through in full-screen mode. Unlike TikTok, YouTube Shorts is not a standalone app that you can download on your phone. YouTube Shorts is a part of the main YouTube mobile app that you probably already have installed on your phone.

YouTube Shorts are also missing the collaborative features available on TikTok, such as duet and stitch. You can, however, use audio samples from other Shorts. Also, YouTube Shorts is missing a curated feed. However, everything is pretty much brand new, and YouTube will be releasing more and more features as time goes on.

YouTube Shorts are short vertical videos meant to be viewed on your mobile app. To be considered as a YouTube Short, there are only two requirements that a video must have:

  1. It should be less than 60 seconds in length
  2. It should be in vertical orientation (portrait or square)

Open the YouTube app on your device and scroll down the main page to view Shorts. You will see a section titled 'Shorts.' If you tap on any video under this section, it will play full-screen.

The content is meant to be viewed quickly. Hence there's no need to go back once a Short has been played entirely and select from the carousel of Shorts. The videos will keep playing in a loop. To view the next-in-line video, simply swipe up. As is the case with other platforms, you will find the option to like, comment, and share any Short video.

YouTube Shorts Algorithm

Image Source: Clipchamp

Why Do YouTube Shorts Matter?

Well, when the world's most popular video hosting platform releases a new feature, it matters a lot to creators.

YouTube has 2 billion monthly active users, 1 billion hours of content is watched every day, and 70% of videos are viewed on mobile. The first two stats are almost unfathomable, but the third one merits further consideration. A vast majority of YouTube content is viewed on mobile devices.

The advent of YouTube Shorts has reaffirmed the industry's shift towards short-form, easily digestible, and mobile-first content.

The fact that YouTube is also investing so heavily in this area underlines the importance of TikTok videos and Instagram Reels. For creators, it's nothing but good news. The wider you cast your net, the better the chances are for your channel to grow.

All this is to say that you should be if you are not already creating short-form content as a creator. It's what your viewers like watching.

YouTube Shorts Algorithm

Image Source: Google Blog

What Does It Mean For Businesses Now?

Being a platform of masses, YouTube has rolled out Shorts for ensuring better mobile responsiveness. Here's how it will bring goodwill to brands and businesses:

Bringing In Long Term Benefits

This is the first buster about Shorts. YouTube Shorts are just like other video uploads. They stay on your YouTube channel beyond 24 hours (unlike Instagram stories), So anyone who stumbles upon your content of YouTube Shorts can check it all out in your channel. It will remain there even after days or months for anyone who wants to have a quick glance at your Shorts.

More Trusted Platform

YouTube is one of the most trusted search engines in the world. It's the most widely used social platform for the purpose of video content and the oldest one too. It is more trusted by businesses and organizations as it does not fail to give the needed public data security information.

Helps Brands Vividly

There's everything for everyone now! YouTube Shorts aim to help brands connect with the next generation of users. Now, B2B businesses can even target them by bringing out short video content on the lines of infotainment.

For most of our searches, we end up over YouTube videos. With Shorts, brands are trying to tap into all the possible chances of tiny and crisp video marketing. So yeah, it's a win-win for both creators and businesses alike.

YouTube Shorts Algorithm

Image Source: Mediakix

Better Reach Across The Platform

A monthly active user rate of 2 billion is a lot. Don't you think so? With the vertical format of Shorts, YouTube is trying to tap into all the potential content formats that consumers across various age groups enjoy watching.

If planned and curated well, your content can reach the mile you wish it achieves. And as far as reach is concerned, YouTube has it in massive. Get going in the new world of Shorts to work upon optimization and increase the reach of your channel. Don't forget, YouTube is still the second largest search engine after Google.

What Is The Shorts Camera?

A short-form video creation tool from YouTube is the Shorts camera, which makes it easy to create YouTube Shorts.

It lets you record videos that are up to 15 seconds long. While Youtube Shorts can be up to 60 seconds long, YouTube recommends using the Shorts camera to focus on creating 15-second videos that can be recorded and shared quickly and easily.

The Shorts tool also allows you to add music, slow down or speed up the video, and have a timer function for hands-free recording.

YouTube Shorts Algorithm

Image Source: YouTube

Where Can You Find YouTube Shorts?

You may find YouTube Shorts in several places within the mobile app; here are a few ways:

  • On the app homepage, under the "Shorts" section
  • In the Subscriptions feed
  • On a channel's homepage
  • By searching on YouTube for Shorts on a specific topic
  • By typing in #shorts in the YouTube search bar
  • In the dedicated Shorts tab beside the Home tab at the bottom of the app

YouTube Shorts Algorithm

Image Source: Clipchamp

Once you land on a YouTube Short video, you can do all the typical stuff that you can otherwise do with any other YouTube video: like, dislike, comment, share, and subscribe. You can click on the channel name to see all of that creator's Shorts.

YouTube Short creators have the option to use audio from other Shorts. In fact, you will actually be able to tell when that is the case. A waveform button will indicate that particular Short contains audio from another YouTube video.

You can tap the waveform button to see the name of the song. You will also be able to view other Shorts using the same audio segment.

How To Make A YouTube Short?

To create a Short video on YouTube:

Step 1: Sign in to your YouTube channel on mobile.
Step 2: Tap the "+" Create symbol.
Step 3: From the pop-up menu, tap Create a Short.
Step 4: If you are using this option for the first time, your device will ask for permission to allow YouTube to use your device's camera and microphone. Once you allow it, you will land on the YouTube Shorts recording page.
Step 5: YouTube Shorts recording length is set defaults to 15 seconds in the app. By tapping on the number "15" above the record button, you can change the recording length to 60 seconds.
Step 6: By pushing the Timer option just below the Speed option, you can set a time for the camera to start the recording on its own without you.
Step 7: You can even apply various visual filters to your recording by tapping on the filters option.
Step 8: Once you are ready to shoot, hit the Record button.
Step 9: Tap the Record button again to stop the recording. Tap again to record the next segment in the same video.
Step 10: Tapping the Undo button, represented by a left-facing arrow, will delete the last segment and not the whole video.
Step 11: Tapping the Redo button, represented by a right-facing arrow, will return that segment to the video.
Step 12: Once you have recorded the Short video, tap the checkmark at the bottom right to preview your video and add music, filters, and text.
Step 13: Once your YouTube Short video is prepared completely, tap Next.
Step 14: Add a title (max 100 characters) for your Short and adjust sharing settings. Add the #shorts hashtag to the title of your video to ensure it can be seen or promoted with other Shorts videos on YouTube.
Step 15: Tap Select audience to choose whether or not your Short video is Made for Kids.
Step 16: Tap Upload to finish. And it will be added to your YouTube.

YouTube Shorts Algorithm

Image Source: Business Standard

Notes:

  1. Your YouTube uploads that are categorized as a Short will be labeled with the Shorts icon at the bottom right corner of the video preview on your Subscriptions feed.

  2. For creators aged 13–17, the default video privacy setting is private. For creators aged 18 years or older, the default video privacy setting is set to public. Creators can change this setting to make their video public, private, or unlisted.

  3. If you are uploading a YouTube Short from the Shorts camera tool, the video will automatically be recognized as a Short and categorized as such.

  4. If you are uploading YouTube Shorts from your desktop, it is vital that you upload in the vertical format & add the hashtag #shorts to your title or description. This will tell YouTube that the video is designed to be a Short.

YouTube Shorts Algorithm

Image Source: Filmora

  1. Even though YouTube Shorts titles can be up to 100 characters long, only 40 characters of the title will appear on-screen when viewed on the app. This simply means that you should make your title strictly less than 40 characters long if you can. If your title is longer than that, the most important keywords should be featured at the beginning of your title, as this is what viewers will see.

How To Get More Views On YouTube Shorts?

Make Appealing YouTube Shorts Thumbnails

Thumbnails are the front faces of the YouTube videos. Thumbnails can be one of the main reasons why your YouTube Shorts are not getting views.

As a result, it becomes critical to remove the default image that YouTube automatically adds as a thumbnail to your video. You should replace it with a custom image. It is possible to choose any frame from the inside of your YouTube video to use as your thumbnail. You can even upload a new photo from your device to replace the existing one.

YouTube Shorts Algorithm

Image Source: Filmora

There are a few things to bear in mind when using a custom image as a thumbnail for your YouTube Shorts:

Relevance

Make sure the new photo you are going to use as a thumbnail is appropriate for the short film. Any thumbnail image taken out of context might cause visitors to become confused. Eventually, you may lose your audience and subscribers there for no good reason.

Clarity

Ensure to use a huge text graphic with a clear message. This will allow viewers to quickly decide whether or not the video is of interest to them.

Correctness

You should avoid using images that are misleading. While such images may initially attract more views, people might lose faith in your channel if they are unable to find what they are looking for in your video after a quick glance at the thumbnail.

Add Shorts Into The Featured Section

In contrast to other videos posted on your channel, the YouTube videos posted to the Featured area are recommended to the audience across the platform. It is based on YouTube's algorithms that automatically evaluate which clip has more chances of being liked by a particular viewer.

YouTube Shorts Algorithm

Image Source: Vidiq

YouTube recommends a video to any of its users based on their browsing statistics, viewing history, and other data collected over time by the streaming media giant. On the other hand, the Featured videos are suggested based on what YouTube 'thinks' that the viewers might be interested in or might find beneficial.

As a result, when you add one of your channel videos as a Featured one, YouTube recommends it to a larger number of viewers than when it is published under the Recommended category.

Know more about How The YouTube Algorithm Works

Optimize YouTube Shorts

YouTube Shorts videos aren't completely different from any other video you upload on the platform. And that's the truth! Hence, the optimization theory holds true for YouTube Shorts, and the method of optimizing short and long videos is almost the same.

If your YouTube Shorts are not getting the views it deserves, pay attention to the title, description, hashtag, etc., of your Shorts and optimize them. Following are some of the significant factors to optimize your YouTube Shorts videos and get more views on them:

Title

Your Shorts title should be self-explanatory. If you create an impulsive and intriguing title, it will give your viewers a description of what they can expect from the clip. Hence, your short films will have a decent chance of getting noticed and acquiring hits.

Description In Detail

Your YouTube Shorts description should be detailed and include information on the clip's theme, nature, and genre. Viewers should be able to determine whether or not the video will be useful to them based on the full description.

Tags

Ensure your videos have appropriate tags included. For instance, including the hashtag #shorts in the video's title or description tells YouTube that it was made for YouTube Shorts. Similarly, tags linked to the genre or theme of the Short video helps YouTube recommend your content to the appropriate people.

YouTube Shorts Algorithm

Image Source: Statusbrew YouTube

Analyze Shorts Performance

When you upload a video to the 'Featured' category, you will notice a huge increase in hits, which will directly affect your channel's view count and playback length.

However, since these brief videos cannot be monetized, you might notice a direct impact of your video's performance on your revenue. Despite your channel's high overall playback duration and view counts, your revenues might not be as significant as they would be if those same short clips were uploaded as regular videos.

YouTube Shorts Algorithm

Image Source: Vidiq

Hence, it's necessary to open your YouTube analytics section and analyze those videos for their performance from real metrics. Analyze the performance of each Short and try to capitalize on the ones that get the most attention from your viewers.

Know more about YouTube Analytics: A Powerful Way To Grow Your Channel

In Conclusion

YouTube has started making concerned efforts to be a big player in short-form mobile video content. This is where the industry is heading, and you need to be producing this type of content.

Initial data shows that Shorts are hugely popular, and there's no reason to believe they won't continue to be so. Shorts are one of the latest in the line of mobile platforms with millions upon millions of viewers where any clip has the chance to go viral anytime soon.

Creating YouTube Shorts is easy, and there's no reason not to capitalize on the explosive growth of these platforms and cast as wide a net as possible. It is also one of the best ways to get your channel noticed and attract new viewers to your stream.

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Rushali Das

Rushali is a content writer at Statusbrew. She is fond of writing content that compels people to slow down and look more closely to discover the unknown stories.