By now you may have heard a thing or two about YouTube Shorts, the platform's answer to TikTok and Instagram Reels. In this article we'll discuss what Shorts are, why they matter to creators, how to actually create a short, and where viewers interact with them.
What are YouTube shorts
YouTube Shorts are short (captain obvious, reporting for duty), vertical videos meant to be viewed on their mobile app. To be considered a Short, there are only two requirements. The video must be:
- Less than 60 seconds in length
- Vertical orientation (either portrait or square)
If you haven't had extensive interactions with Shorts yet, you might not even know where to find them. In order to view shorts, open the YouTube app and scroll down the main page. You'll see a section titled 'Shorts' and if you tap on a video, it will play full-screen. I know, I know. Looks familiar.
The content is meant to be viewed quickly, so there's no need to go back and select from the carousel of Shorts. The videos play in a loop, and to view the next in line, simply swipe up. As is the case with other platforms, you'll find the option to like, comment, and share.
Why Shorts matter
Particularly in summertime, pants are not always an option. Humans evolved to sweat in warm weather, and . . . oh YouTube Shorts? Well, when the world's most popular video hosting platform releases a new feature, it matters to creators.
YouTube has 2 billion monthly active users, an estimated 1 billion hours of content is watched every day, and 70% of those are viewed on mobile. Those first two stats are almost unfathomable, but what merits further consideration is the third. The vast majority of content on YouTube is viewed from a mobile device.
The advent of YouTube Shorts reaffirms the industry's shift to short-form, easily digestible, mobile-first content.
The fact that YouTube is investing so heavily in this area also, by extension, underlines the importance of TikTok and Instagram Reels. They clearly think these competitors are here to stay, and are willing to put resources behind their efforts to keep market share. For creators, that's nothing but good news. The wider you cast your net, the better chance your channel has to grow.
All this is to say that if you're not already creating short-form content as a creator, you should be. It's where your viewers are. In the next section, we'll discuss the creation process.
How to make YouTube shorts
As mentioned above, videos only need to be less than 60 seconds and be in a portrait or square orientation to be considered a Short. Some creators add #shorts to their description or title, but that's not necessary. YouTube will automatically tag videos that fit their criteria. Nothing else is needed on your end.
That said, one of the most challenging parts of making Shorts is creating content that looks good in a vertical orientation, particularly if your base footage is landscape. Live streamers know this pain all too well. At Cross Clip, we make it easy to covert horizontal videos into portrait ones.
On the right-hand side of the screen, select either Portrait or Square from the dropdown. Next, arrange the Content, Camera, and any other layers you would like on the screens to highlight the best parts of your video. Once you're finished, click compile, select your settings, and you're done. It really is that easy.
To get your video into YouTube, you can either download the clip and upload on the YouTube website – there is no requirement to upload on the app for your video to be tagged as a Short – or download the Cross Clip mobile app. All your compiled videos will automatically populate on the app, so tap whichever one you'd like and click share directly to YouTube.
To make a YouTube Short, your video need only be short and vertical. To view a YouTube short, open the app and scroll down the main page.
YouTube is making a concerted effort to be a big player in short-form mobile video. If nothing else, it should underline for you as a creator that this is where the industry is heading and that you need to be producing this type of content.
Initial data shows Shorts are hugely popular, and there's no reason to believe they won't continue to be so. But Shorts are just the latest in a line of mobile platforms with millions upon millions of viewers where any video has the chance to go viral. With Cross Clip, creating content from your clips 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. As we explain in this article, cross posting content between TikTok, Instagram Reels, Twitter, and YouTube Shorts is one of the best ways to get noticed and attract new viewers to your stream.
I hope you found this article informative. You should now have everything you need to karate chop your pants in half and put your best foot forward with YouTube Shorts.