What Is YouTube Shorts?

YouTube Shorts is a new service from YouTube, launched in September 2020, that is intended to compete with TikTok.   They are just short videos that viewers can endlessly scroll through in a feed.

Where Are YouTube Shorts Available?

If you are in most parts of the world you will not see SHORTS in YouTube… yet.  But it must be coming soon if Google wants to stop TikTok from eating its lunch.

As of January 2021, TikTok is banned in India so that is where YouTube is testing its Shorts model.

What Makes A YouTube Video a Short?

Once YouTube Shorts are available everywhere, the easiest way to make a short will be to use your cell or tablet and simply click the CREATE A SHORT button:

How to Make a YouTube Short From the Mobile App

Until YouTube turns shorts on everywhere you can still create #Shorts content.  YouTube defines a short as any video that has a vertical orientation (i.e. like phone) that is less than 60 seconds in length and is either uploaded as a Short or uses the tag #shorts in the title and/or body.

The problems are:

  1. YouTube has not defined exactly what a vertical orientation means.  Sure 1080 x 1920 is vertical but is 1000 x 1100, we don’t think so but it might be!
  2. YouTube adds 1 second to each video that is uploaded and we don’t know how that effects videos at the upper limit.  So if your video is 59 seconds long, is that still “less than 60 seconds” and what about a video that is 59.9 seconds long; we just don’t know for sure

Here is an important little note from YouTube telling you that while they are going after TikTok, they have a focus on what used to be Vines market:

“…Note: Content created using the Shorts camera is limited to 15 seconds. So, while anything up to 60 seconds can appear on the shelf, we recommend that you focus on 15-second videos that are quickly and easily enjoyed by viewers. SOURCE

Can YouTube Shorts be Monetized?

The official answer is “no” but that is not completely accurate. YouTube does not monetize the Shorts platform:

“…As we continue to experiment and improve the Shorts experience, there may be opportunities to monetize Shorts in the future.” SOURCE

We think that will change in a year or two as Google will:

  1. want the revenue
  2. want to encourage creators to make good YouTube shorts content

Also, your #Shorts videos are NOT prevented from being viewed on the existing YouTube systems which are monetized.  For instance if someone watches a short on a desktop and the the channel is being monetized, you will get revenue.

As you can see below a short that we created was watched 3400 times and we made a big $.06 from it.  Look at the right side menu (i.e. under REALTIME) and notice that about 90% of the views came from YouTube’s ‘Shorts’ watchers and not viewers using the desktop or mobile apps.

Monetize YouTube Shorts Analytics

Do Shorts Watched Hours Count Toward YouTube Partner Program (YPP)?

The hours of watched content on Shorts do NOT count toward the 4000 hour minimum requirement to enable monetization so Shorts are not a useful wayt new channels to get started.

Why Create Shorts If You Can’t Make Money?

There are several very good reasons to create at least a few shorts even now when you will not make real money from them:

  1. Shorts users that click SUBSCRIBE are subscribing to ALL of your content not just shorts
  2. Catch your competition off guard and get ahead.   Shorts will be coming to the rest of the world in the next few months and so you will be part of a very small group of competitors with content ready to go.
  3. Shorts are short and not that hard to make, so there is little downside
  4. Shorts will be monetized in the foggy future

 


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