Exploring YouTube's Advice for Shorts Creators - Digital Ratha
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Exploring YouTube's Advice for Shorts Creators

Exploring YouTube’s Advice for Shorts Creators

Are you looking to get into YouTube Shorts and build a Shorts presence for yourself or your brand?

You should probably consider it. Shorts are the fastest-growing content type on YouTube. It is now driving over 50 billion daily views in the app.

Built similarly in the TikTok format, Shorts leans toward the trend of more concise and attention-grabbing clips. It could be a valuable pathway towards increased brand awareness and perception.

Can you create good Shorts content?

Yes, and it will help. Today, YouTube has published a new interview with Shorts Product Lead Todd Sherman in which Sherman answers some of the most common questions about Shorts.

It includes how they use hashtags, how often you should post the Shorts algorithm, and what is coming next.

There are some interesting notes. Here are some of the key highlights:

While making YouTube shorts, YouTube advises that creators think about the audience rather than the algorithm within their creative process.

Sherman says that the Shorts algorithm differs from the regular YouTube feed because it has an entirely different format and consumption behaviors.

For example, on long-form, a lot of the time, people are selecting or clicking on a video by tapping on it on their phone or clicking on it on the web, and that choice drives a lot of engagement.

In short, people are swiping through a feed and discovering things as they go. That is one important difference.

The variance means that YouTube cannot use the same explicit usage indicators as it does in the main feed, so the algorithm is focused more on engagement elements.

Meanwhile, the Shorts feed is also broader reaching. It means that YouTube has to match more content to Shorts viewers.

In essence, It means that YouTube is getting smarter about showing users what they like and based on what they watch. Hence, YouTube factors in watch time, re-watches, likes, shares, and comments.

A big part of that comes down to entity recognition, and YouTube is still building its algorithm to highlight more content based on these measures.

How are Shorts views counted?

Sherman says that Short views are not measured when a Short appears on screen but are more aligned with actual viewer interest.

What we try and do with a view is have it encode for your intent of watching that thing so that creators feel like that view has some meaningful threshold that the person decided to watch. It does not mean it is their favorite video ever. It just means that they are deliberately watching it.

Sherman says that YouTube does not publish its calculations to stop people trying to game the system.

Extending Shorts length

Sherman says this is not something they are considering, as YouTube already has other long-form options. As such, Shorts will remain at 60 seconds max for now.

Thumbnail options

Sherman says that the Shorts team has opted not to add specific thumbnail creation tools because most Shorts views come from people swiping through the Shorts feed, which means that most people won’t see your thumbnails anyway.

YouTube has added the capacity to select a frame from your clip as the thumbnail, but there are no plans to add custom thumbnail options.

Hashtag usage

Sherman says that hashtags are not required on Shorts, but they can be helpful in certain applications.

According to him, sometimes a hashtag can be associated with a real-world thing that has happened, like an event, and you want to associate it with it.

Other times, they are focused on topics; according to him, in both cases, creators should consider using them.

So, there is no concrete advice on whether hashtags offer any value, but they might be worth experimenting with regarding trending discussions and niche topics.

Shorts Volume

Sherman says nothing in the algorithm dictates expanded or reduced reach if you post more Shorts. But, he advises that there can be negative impacts for posting lots of lower quality clips.

Sherman also says that generating a bunch of relatively lower-quality videos and posting them on YouTube will get meager engagement.

Instead of doing all that, he advises spending the energy on making a better video and fewer of them. He further suggests some valuable points in making YouTube shorts:-

Some creators claim that re-uploading can effectively re-trigger the algorithm to expand your distribution, but Sherman says it is not a great strategy.

He says that he cannot advise that. He has heard people talk about this as a growth hack on Twitter, but he thinks there is also a risk that it gets seen as spam in our systems.

What is the future of Shorts from here?

Sherman says that Shorts will integrate AI elements in the future, though he is fairly vague on what that means.

You would assume that this would incorporate AI creation tools of some kind, generative elements that can assist in your process.

But we must wait and see what YouTube has in store.

It is an interesting overview of the current stats of Shorts and how to best approach Shorts’ engagement. It could help guide you to make the most of the options.

Do you want to know more?

Click here to learn more updates on YouTube and other social media updates.

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