A completely comprehensive guide to Youtube Shorts
If you’re totally new to YouTube Shorts, you might want to check out our full guide to them here – complete with a full explanation and tips for optimising Shorts videos for success.
Some say that the enormous popularity of TikTok is the reason behind the birth of this very feature on Youtube. Since 2020, many users have familiarized themselves with the beta version of Youtube shorts within the app’s homepage.
But still, since Youtube shorts has not officially been launched yet, the amount of information about it is limited and mostly speculation. Still, today this article will try to cover everything that we have known about the latest Youtube short beta feature. Let’s roll!
What are Youtube Shorts?
You may have noticed that every social media platform has some form of short stories. They are geared to play into our low attention span and need for quick, consumable content.
Due to the cheap price and the availability of smartphones today, along with a huge range of contents to view online, and the limited amount of leisure time, Internet users’ preference has changed.
They now like to watch videos that are both short enough to convey the message within a few seconds, and can be seen on their phone’s screen with decent picture quality.
Considering this, Google lately came up with a short-form video feature called YouTube shorts. It can be accessed right from Android or iPhone as long as one is using the YouTube app, and are signed in to their Google account.
Here is how Youtube explains the creation of Youtube shorts: “Every year we see an increasing number of people coming to YouTube, looking to create, and we want to make it easier for them to do so.”
Oh right, so not about the rise of TikTok at all. Good to know.
As the name suggested, all Youtube Shorts must be vertically oriented and last less than 60 seconds. This is the most basic description that you need to know for now, but we will get back to this later.
The intention behind Youtube short duration is to encourage the use of quick uploads from cellphones and also to have them primarily be viewed on them, too.
As such, it is unlikely that you will see YouTube Shorts on your laptop, since they are intended for phone usage.
YouTube Shorts is currently in beta form for U.S. and Indian users only.
Despite YouTube’s plan to add more features in the coming months, there is currently no set date for when Shorts will launch globally since YouTube is not sure how long the development and testing process will take.
What Youtube Shorts looks like
Shorts will be highlighted in a section of the YouTube mobile app homepage. This is currently shown for users around the world. However, since they’re testing how Shorts will appear on the homepage, a small ‘BETA’ will appear on the top right corner of the Shorts title.
Once you get into the short shelf, you will see a selection of Youtube short clips. The immersive and engaging feed will present to you random shorts that YouTube thinks you might be interested in based on your search and watch history on the platform.
A red Subscribe button is automatically included with all shorts. As of now, it appears at the lower left-hand side by the channel name.
At the right side of the screen, you’ll see thumbs-up and thumbs-down icons, comments, as well as a share option. If you tap the three dots, you’ll see a pop-up menu with an option to view the description.
However, just remember that the options you see here may change, as YouTube is still in the testing phase.
How to Make and Upload a Youtube Shorts clip?
Do you worry that you can’t post Youtube shorts since you don’t live in India or the US with no beta access?
Fear not, videos that you upload to YouTube could still show up in the feeds of Shorts viewers as long as they follow these few headlines:
- The videos have to be vertically oriented
- Duration of 60 seconds or less (YouTube employees recommend 15 seconds or less)
- Include the hashtag #Shorts in the title or description
- Follow the usual Community Guidelines from Youtube.
Now that we have cleared the concern out of the way, let’s dive into the how.
How to create a YouTube Short clip
The current Shorts creation tools which allows you to do some basic editing and upload the Shorts right from your phone through the YouTube app is only available to creators in the U.S. and India at the moment.
When Shorts is available, creators will be able to produce them by going to their home screen, tapping the “+” icon on the lower navigation, and selecting “Create a Short” from the menu that appears. Below is a screenshot from YouTube.
The mobile YouTube app will have a couple in-app tools for creating Shorts, including the ability to:
- Upload pre-created content from a camera roll.
- Film a segment with back or front-facing cameras.
- Adjust video speed.
- Pick sounds for musical overlays.
- Record hands-free using a countdown timer.
While Shorts can be up to 60 seconds, if you’re looking to film one in-app, the max length is 15 seconds.
However, there have been reports that YouTube sometimes adds a second or two to the videos you upload. This may not seem like a big deal for longer videos, but two extra seconds can be the difference between YouTube classifying your video as a Short or a regular video.
To play it safe, your Shorts should be no longer than 58 seconds. That’ll ensure you don’t exceed the 60-second limit. While the minimum video length for Shorts is unknown, we’d recommend making yours at least 5 seconds.
The dimensions of a Short are also important. Through various experiments, vidIQ discovered that Shorts must be a perfect square (1080 x 1080 pixels) or vertical. If your video is even one pixel wider than it is tall, YouTube won’t classify it as a Short.
In the coming months, YouTube is looking to add filters, text overlays, and the ability to create drafts.
Some misconceptions about Youtube Shorts
There’s still some doubt among creators on how Youtube shorts work though, so here are three facts to debunk common misconceptions.
- You can create, edit, and upload a Short using any device. YouTube will recognize Shorts created with a smartphone, DSLR, iPad, or any other video-recording device. When you’re ready to upload, a smartphone or desktop computer will suffice.
- It doesn’t matter if you include #Shorts in the title or description of your video. YouTube encourages it, but it won’t keep your video from being recognized as a Short.
- You don’t need any previous views or subscribers to create a YouTube Short. There are no minimum requirements for creating short, vertical videos.
Do YouTube Shorts count as Watch Time? – YouTube Shorts and Monetization
Did you know, there are a couple of ways to watch a YouTube Short? The most common is by discovering it on the Stories and Short Videos shelf obviously.
The other way is by viewing it as a regular YouTube video. That’s what happens when viewers watch a video on channel pages, within browse features, and many other areas on the platform.
For those who receive a portion of their income from YouTube, Shorts unfortunately won’t help increase your monthly ad-revenue income.
According to Google’s support page, Shorts will not have ads on them, meaning they won’t generate any revenue.
Views and watch hours from these videos also don’t contribute to your YouTube Partner Program eligibility, which requires “more than 4,000 valid public watch hours in the last 12 months.”
That being said, if viewers subscribe to your channel because of your Shorts, those subscribers will still be counted toward the 1,000 subscribers necessary to qualify for the YouTube Partner Program.
It’s possible that, as the Shorts feature continues to be fleshed out, creators will have the option to monetize these videos, though at this time there is no clear plan for that.
On the other hand, regular YouTube videos can have ads, and therefore, generate revenue. But according to vidIQ, the income is moderate at best, with a 750,000 views Youtube short only generates less than $4 ad income!
The reason behind this little amount of income from Youtube Shorts compared to regular videos is still up to debate.
In conclusion, how a viewer watches a Youtube short determines whether the creator earns any ad revenue or watch time from it.
If it’s watched in a Shorts discovery area, expect no money. If it’s watched via the regular YouTube player, expect a small amount of ad revenue (or some Watch Time for those seeking Youtube Partner Program acceptance).
Are YouTube Shorts worth it?
Based on various sources until now, Youtube is seemingly promoting Shorts for now.
Because of that reason, Shorts certainly do give you quite a generous amount of exposure on the platform, with comparably less effort required than creating traditional, long-form content.
Creating and publishing a 60-second video took around 15-20 minutes, rather than the hours that might go into a long-form YouTube video.
With a new channel, assuming you get some traction with subscribers, you could then use Shorts as a platform to expand into longer form content that your new subscriber base might enjoy.
However, if you’re looking to monetise your channel, then you can’t rely on Shorts alone (remember what we told you earlier.)
For existing channels, Shorts seem like a neat idea to engage your audience with off-the-cuff clips, but do be aware that YouTube hasn’t yet separated long-from watch time analytics from Shorts, so your channel’s average view duration will likely take a hit.
For now, you need to focus on the benefits of Youtube Shorts – which is not the money but as a way to get attention to your channel. If you’re new to Youtube, they can be a great way to get yourself established and create some early traction.
YouTube Shorts are a fresh way to watch and create video content. Can it hold up in the face of TikTok? Only time will tell. But in the meantime, the traffic and views brought by Youtube Shorts is too good to overlook.
Evidence suggests channel size matters less when it comes to Youtube Shorts. It’s almost as if creators have an equal chance of their videos being discovered on the Shorts shelf, which is a massive advantage even for minuscule channels.
Too bad only content creators from India and the US can utilize this very useful feature. As such, if you are looking for a way to gain Youtube subscribers and watch hours faster, AudienceGain is here to help.
Our team of digital marketing experts will set up promotion campaigns for your Youtube channels on multiple social media platforms, thus bringing your content to a wider range of audiences.
Every single subscriber and watch time you gain from those will be completely authentic and organic. Youtube purge won’t be a problem on your journey to monetization!