Everything You Need To Know About YouTube Shorts and Its New Algorithm

Everything You Need To Know About YouTube Shorts and Its New Algorithm

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YouTube Shorts is YouTube’s answer to TikTok and Instagram Reels. Though YouTube Shorts only started in 2021, it already has 30 billion views per day. If you’re a content creator, you’re probably wondering how you can expand your audience by posting YouTube Shorts.

This article discusses the rules for YouTube Shorts and its algorithms. After reading this article, you’ll know if YouTube Shorts is a good fit for your content.

What Is YouTube Shorts?

YouTube Shorts videos can be no longer than 60 seconds. They’re optimized for mobile screens. On a phone or tablet, you simply swipe to move to the next video. If you don’t swipe, the video replays.  

One key advantage of these short form videos is they’re shared much more often than long form videos. Videos that are shared more often mean more traffic.

Why Content Creators Should Make Short Form Videos

There are many advantages to short form content. Since YouTube Shorts has many editing tools built into the apps, video production is quick and easy. YouTube Shorts provides a wide selection of royalty-free music overlays. It also provides the ability to add text and filters to your short form videos.

Short form videos have exploded in popularity because of shortened attention spans. People want to be stimulated. These videos are for people who are on-the-go. If people must kill time for a few minutes, why not pick up their phone and watch a few short videos? What else are they supposed to do while in a waiting room? Are they going to read the magazines? No. Magazines are so “2015.”

 Short form videos allow you to reach a larger audience. Why? Since short form videos take little time to watch, people watch many more short form videos than long form videos. Since people are watching more short form videos, it’s more likely people will see your video. 

A negative of YouTube Shorts is that it isn’t as easy to monetize as long form videos on YouTube. At first, there was no way to monetize YouTube Shorts. But changes come quickly with social media channels.

In late 2021, YouTube created a $100 million fund for creators of YouTube Shorts. Creators could receive up to $10,000 from this fund, depending on how popular their short form video was.

In May 2022, YouTube started advertisements for YouTube Shorts. Unlike long form YouTube videos, there’s still no revenue share for ads on YouTube Shorts. Compensation for creators still comes from the YouTube Shorts Fund. Eventually, it is expected revenue sharing will exist on YouTube Shorts just as on regular YouTube.

In the meantime, there is a way to earn advertising revenue on YouTube Shorts. You can make a deal directly with a brand. They sponsor you, and in return, you promote their products on YouTube Shorts. Of course, you’ll need a large following to close such a deal. But this is one way to monetize your YouTube Shorts.

How the YouTube Shorts Algorithm Works

Social media channels are constantly changing — especially new social media channels. YouTube Shorts started a little over a year ago. There have been major changes to its algorithms in the past few months.

Before going into detail about the YouTube Shorts algorithm, let’s look at the algorithms used by long form videos on YouTube. After all, YouTube has long been the king of long form video.

How the YouTube Algorithm Works

The YouTube algorithm considers many factors when determining whether to recommend a video to viewers. These factors include:

  • How many people click on the video after seeing the thumbnail
  • Do people watch the whole video or just part of it
  • How many comments, likes, and shares are the video getting
  • How many people stay on YouTube after watching the video

The algorithm tries to recommend videos to viewers who are most likely to enjoy the video. When picking who to recommend, the algorithm considers:

  • What channels the person watches
  • What topics do they watch and what they don’t watch
  • Feedback the user has given for similar videos, such as likes and dislikes

So, this algorithm should work for YouTube Shorts too, right? The short answer is, “not exactly.” There were some problems with people who watched a lot of shorts only being recommended more shorts. To sift through all this data, the algorithm has to consider people’s watch histories.

YouTube solved this problem by separating the watch histories for long form videos from shorts.

Once you upload a YouTube Short, your subscribers get a notification. They watch the video. This builds traffic. Other traffic comes from recommendations. If your video has enough traffic, YouTube may select it as one of the most popular videos in your region. When this happens, it’s part of the Shorts Shelf on the trending page.

It may take 24 hours to a week to make it to the Shorts Shelf, but once it does, you’ll see a huge jump in traffic. YouTube values fresh content on the Shorts Shelf. This may mean the average life on the Shorts Shelf is only 72 hours. But, the video will get a lot of exposure during those three days.

Recent Changes to the YouTube Shorts Algorithm

The recent changes to the algorithm had some undesirable consequences. Short form videos can have explosive traffic growth. Wouldn’t it be great if shorts could drive traffic to a creator’s long form videos?

 Shorts could give an enormous boost to the popularity of your channel. More popular channels get more promotion from the algorithm for long form videos. While there are ways to monetize shorts, it’s not as easy as with long form videos. So the shorts could indirectly lead to greater revenues for long form videos. 

This used to work. Then the algorithm changed so that it wouldn’t consider the watch histories of shorts when recommending long form content and vice versa. With the new algorithm, the user could watch your YouTube Short a million times and still not receive a recommendation for your long form content. The algorithm can no longer see the watch history from shorts when recommending long form content.

So, there’s no reason to make YouTube Shorts, right? Wrong! You can put a subscribe button on your YouTube Shorts. Those who subscribe will see your short form and long form content.

Pros and Cons of YouTube Shorts

There are a lot of pros and just a few cons to YouTube Shorts. Remember, this platform has only been in the US for a little over a year. YouTube is working quickly to make it better and better. At the moment, they’re still making a lot of tweaks. That said, content creators can’t ignore a site that’s reached 30 billion views a day in a little over a year.

The Pros:

  • Creators can quickly create these videos within the mobile app
  • Editing tools exist within the mobile app
  • YouTube Shorts can drive subscribers to your channel
  • Short form videos are wildly popular
  • You can monetize your videos through the YouTube Shorts Fund

The Cons:

  • Your videos can be no longer than 60 seconds
  • It’s a new platform, and YouTube is still changing the algorithms
  • That a viewer likes your shorts has no effect on recommendations for long form videos
  • Unlike other YouTube videos, there’s no revenue sharing for ads with YouTube Shorts

 There are many reasons content creators should make YouTube Shorts. Most of the drawbacks are because of the newness of the platform. For example, there’s no revenue sharing for ads, but ads were experimental until recently.  YouTube just started a full rollout of ads on YouTube Shorts. It appears revenue sharing for ads is part of the plan for YouTube Shorts. In the meantime, the YouTube Shorts fund provides some compensation for creators.

YouTube has a long history as the primary video content provider on the internet. Enduring a few minor glitches in these still early days of YouTube Shorts will be worth it in the long run.

Conclusion:

YouTube Shorts videos are extremely popular because they’re short, mobile-optimized videos. You can quickly edit these videos and they’re perfect for sharing on social media. You can earn money through the YouTube Shorts fund, but there is no revenue share for ads on YouTube Shorts videos yet.

YouTube Shorts is barely over a year old. YouTube is still working to tweak the YouTube Shorts algorithm. But, that it’s getting over 30 billion views a day in such a short time means every serious video creator should consider YouTube Shorts.

 Whatever the algorithm, the key to building traffic to your YouTube channels, whether through shorts or long form videos, is the video. Is the content great? Is it funny? Is it thought provoking? Does it entertain the audience? These are the factors that build viral videos. 

And there’s one other factor. The quality of the video editing is critical. Vidchops is a video editing service that makes it easy for content creators to enjoy expert video editing for a low monthly subscription. We look forward to helping you with your videos.

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