YouTube Shorts – The Newest Short-Form Video Service

July 26, 2021

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YouTube Shorts - The Newest Short-Form Video Service

The rising popularity of TikTok has drawn a raft of similar social platforms from other providers, who don’t want to lag behind in this short-form video business. As a social media behemoth, Google aims to take on its competitors by launching YouTube Shorts.

From its infancy, people have had high hopes for it as a new product from the Google-owned video streaming giant.

There is no wonder that many content creators are curious about YouTube Shorts, how it works, and how they could make use of it to promote their online presence. We will walk you through those questions with this in-depth guide.

What Is YouTube Shorts?

Shorts are essentially YouTube vertical videos of 60 seconds or less.

By rolling out YouTube Shorts, Google wants to tap into the booming market of short-form clips currently dominated by TikTok. It gives YouTubers a new option in their toolbox, allowing them to make bite-sized content and conveniently export it right from their smartphones.

But unlike TikTok, Google doesn’t offer Shorts as a standalone viewing experience.

There are no separate apps on Google Play or App Store for users to download if they want to check out YouTube’s newest feature.

Youtube Shorts Feature
Youtube Shorts Feature

Google integrates Shorts into the YouTube app itself to take advantage of its massive user base. This effort to push Shorts videos into the existing YouTube ecosystem allows users to open the YouTube app and use it right away without extra steps.

Officially, YouTube Shorts is still in beta status.

It was launched first in India but then expanded into other markets, including the US in March 2021. In the same month, Google revealed that YouTube Shorts attracted more than 6.5 billion views a day.

In July, Google announced that this short-video service would be available in more than 100 countries around the world, marking the global beta launch of YouTube Shorts.

Regardless of whether you’re a content creator, an influencer, or a casual viewer, this launch promises a new option to produce and explore clips in this new, vertical format.

How To Watch YouTube Shorts

As part of the effort to attract new users, YouTube has dedicated a portion of the app’s homepage to Shorts (commonly called “the shelf”) with a plan to add a separate tab in the future.

How To Watch YouTube Shorts
Thumbnails of Shorts on the shelf

If your YouTube app is up-to-date and the Shorts feature is available in your region, you can scroll down a little after opening the app to find the thumbnails of popular Shorts.

A vertical video player will appear when you click on any clips, where you can like, dislike, share, and leave a comment on the clip. Clicking on the channel name brings you to the homepage of the creator’s channel. 

Much like TikTok, the YouTube app will automatically play a new short clip after you’re done with the previous one.

How To Make YouTube Shorts

This is a quick guide to help you have a basic grasp of this new service.

How To Record A YouTube Short

All you need to create a Short is the YouTube mobile app.

make a video short
Create a Short with the YouTube app

From its homepage, tap the big plus icon at the bottom center and select “Create a Short.” This step will bring you to the Shorts Camera, where you can record your clip before editing and uploading it.

By default, Shorts are 15-second videos. If you need a longer duration, tap the “15” number above the record button to choose the 60-second clip option.

Tap the capture button to start recording and tap it again to stop.

Tap “Next” to preview your Short, where you can add music and other special effects.

In the final screen, you can add details like Title and visibility settings. Once you’re satisfied with your Short, tap “Upload” to publish it to your channel.

make a video short
Add details to your Short

In addition to these default Short creation tools, creators can also upload any vertical video of 60 seconds or less to their channel using the normal process, and YouTube will categorize it as a Short.

How To Add Music To Your Shorts

YouTube offers plenty of ways to add music to Shorts. If you use the default creation tool, the video-sharing platform allows you to add music before and after recording the clip.

Eligible Shorts have a “Music” icon, which you can tap to create a Short using the sound from that clip. Or you can go to a watch page and use the “Create” button below it to make a Short with audio from that online video.

In the camera tool, when you record your Short and in the preview screen, there are also “Music” buttons that allow you to add music from hundreds of music labels and publishers in YouTube’s vast library.

Tap the “Adjust” button at the bottom to align the audio and make it sync with your Short.

How To Add Text To Your Shorts

In the preview screen, tap the “Text” icon at the bottom and type your message.

You can change the color of your text and the background as well with the color palette right on top of the mobile keyboard.

Other format tools include choosing the font, switching between justified or centered text, and expanding or shrinking the text.

How To Upload YouTube Shorts

Once you have finished adding text and music to your clip, tap “Next” to go to the next screen, where you can see the details of your Short.

Type in a title and set the visibility for your clip.

The visibility settings are similar to those of regular YouTube videos, including Public (anyone can see your Short), Private (the Short could only be seen by you and whomever you choose), and Unlisted (anyone with a link can view your Short even though it doesn’t show up in the video list of your channel).

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Visibility settings

Schedule the Short if you don’t want to publish your finished video immediately. Otherwise, tap “Upload” to push it to your channel.

How To Analyze The Performance of Your YouTube Shorts

A popular Short could bring a significant amount of views to its creator. If you want to find out how well your YouTube Short videos are performing and how much they have contributed to your channel, go to your YouTube Studio webpage.

Click on the “Analytics” on the left panel and find the “See More” button to view advanced analytics of your channel.

The “Traffic Source” tab on this page should show you how many views, watch time, and the average view duration you have gotten so far from your Shorts.

How To Improve Your YouTube Shorts Views

Here are some tips to master this bite-sized video form.

Keep Your Viewers Engaged And Entertained

Make it pop and grab the attention of your viewers within the first few seconds of the clip. Popular audio, unique editing, and bold visuals are common methods you could try out.

Start with what is fun for you, which is the best way to make your creativity shine. Depending on your niche, your Shorts could also be unfiltered, real, or just random videos.

Keep Your Shorts, Short

Cut out any lengthy shots, excessive laughter, and unnecessary pauses. And don’t ever think about “part two” or “to be continued.” Tell your stories concisely and keep them to the point – the best way to make your viewers hooked and encourage loops.

Align Your Shorts With Your Channel

Shorts could be an amazing way to lure viewers to other video content on your YouTube channel. If you don’t want to make a separate channel for your Shorts, keep their content and style in line with that of your regular videos.

Monetization With YouTube Shorts

Google currently doesn’t treat YouTube Shorts as regular videos, and as a result, viewing a Short from the shelf doesn’t count towards the eligible Watch Time for monetization purposes.

You can only earn money from your Shorts via the regular YouTube Partner Program if your viewers watch them as a regular YouTube video with ads.

Monetization With YouTube Shorts
YouTube Shorts Fund is the only monetization option right now

In May 2021, Google introduced the YouTube Shorts Fund to promote this new feature and encourage mobile creators to produce content for it.

Every creator will be eligible for this $100M fund, not limited to the YouTube Partner Program participants.

Each month, YouTube will select the Shorts with the most views and engagement and reward their creators, providing that they adhere to the Community Guidelines and make original content for Shorts.

Frequently Asked Questions

These are some common questions content creators have about YouTube Shorts – the newest player in the short-form video market.

Is YouTube Shorts Feature Available Worldwide?

YouTube has expanded its Shorts creator tools to creators around the world. If you can’t find the “Create a Short” on your YouTube just yet, update the app to the latest version.

Which Kind of Audio Can I Use In My Shorts?

The entire YouTube’s library of songs is available for personal, non-commercial use. You can also insert original audio from eligible Shorts and videos into your clips.

If you upload your premade Shorts into your channel, make sure that all material you use in them complies with copyright laws. YouTube may take down your Shorts and give you a copyright strike if it receives a copyright notice against your clips.

How Could I Earn Money From My Shorts?

Google is still working on ads and other long-term monetization solutions for YouTube Shorts.

As of right now, YouTube doesn’t share any revenue with creators when viewers watch their videos in the Shorts player. You can only earn money from your Shorts via the Partner Program if they draw views through the regular video player.

In the meantime, you can compete in a separate program called YouTube Shorts Fund, created especially for short-form video content.

Conclusion

The global launch of YouTube Shorts offers a new option for a new generation of creators worldwide. With the advantage of free access to a huge existing user base, you can show off your creativity and pull in new audiences with entertaining and engaging short clips.

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