For many years, Youtube remained unrivaled for being the king of online videos. Many similar platforms existed, but none came close to surpassing YouTube. That is until TikTok showed up. The fastest-growing social media platform stirred things up.
Unlike YouTube’s other competitors, TikTok took a different route so the video streaming giant would not overshadow it. Instead of taking on YouTube on its turf – long-form video content creation- TikTok focused on short-form videos.
That move from TikTok paid off. The platform has been wooing YouTube’s young audience. For once, Youtube – the second largest website in the world – felt tested.
Of course, YouTube will not let its younger audience get taken away. After all, the future of the platform lies in their hands. So, to answer TikTok’s challenge, Youtube launched YouTube Shorts.
TikTok has shown that there is a demand for short-form videos. That is something YouTube has abandoned long ago. In its inception in 2005, YouTube focused on brief, viral clips. However, it slowly struggled to become profitable and then became inundated with crummy clickbait – which viewers do not enjoy. So, YouTube shifted its algorithmic gears. In 2021, the platform began prioritizing longer video content. The more time they can keep the viewers engaged, the better.
Since then, Youtube has pushed its creators to focus on making long-form videos with higher production values. The goal is to better compete with television, where most advertising dollars are still being spent. Quickly, Youtube got filled with videos that are 10 – 20 minutes long. Ten minutes is the minimum requirement for monetization. YouTube has succeeded in this endeavor. It grew into a formidable business with $20 billion in annual advertising revenue.
If YouTube is this successful, then why would creators choose TikTok over it?
The answer lies in which is the fastest way to fame. As we all know, YouTube is an enormous company. There is a lot of content that one can find on the site.
Now, there are already known personalities on the platform. Most of their videos are more than ten minutes long. Furthermore, they post regularly. Naturally, viewers are magnetized to their channels. Since it takes time to finish watching a video, they likely would not have time to browse for new ones. Therefore, the chance of them discovering new creators is low, but new creators also buy YouTube views more than established personas.
On the other hand, TikTok videos are only 15 seconds to 3 minutes long. So, for one YouTube video, a person can watch up to 40 TikTok videos. Based on this, it is clear which of the two is superior at giving new creators a chance.
Then, from the perspective of the viewers, TikTok promises more enjoyment. In a world where we are constantly busy, we want to make the most of our short break times. In 30 minutes, we can watch 1 – 3 mainstream Youtube videos. Within the same time frame, we can watch a hundred, give and take. That is so much more.
You can argue that quality should be preferred over quantity. But that does not apply here. Sure, TikTok videos are short, but that does not mean not much thought was put into them. The platform would not be successful if that were the case.
Long-form videos still have advantages over short-form ones. But that does not mean that short-form content has nothing over them. Both styles have weaknesses and strengths. So, instead of focusing on one, YouTube decided to do both.
Youtube Shorts is Google’s new product. It is a platform that exists within the main service’s mobile app. Through Shorts, YouTube is enabling short-form video content creators to express themselves and get famous.
Note that these videos have existed on YouTube since the platform’s creation. However, they were not given enough importance. The creators cannot earn money from the views, no matter how popular the bite-sized video is. On top of that, they have to compete against a plethora of other videos to gain attention.
That is about to change. Now, there is a space on YouTube where these creators can thrive. Recently, YouTube announced a $100 M fund. Every month, Youtube Shorts will reach out to thousands of creators whose Shorts received the most engagement and views. The platform will reward them with some cash as thanks for their contribution. The fund will be distributed over the course of 2021 – 2022.
Furthermore, a monetization model for Shorts on YouTube is on the way. It will give additional support to the creators.
YouTube launched Shorts first in India last year. They selected the region because its most formidable competitor, TikTok, is banned there. That allowed the company to have a better view of how the users will receive the product. After a while, they launched Shorts internationally.
Users received the new Youtube experience warmly. The early returns have been impressive. YouTube reported that there had been 6.5 billion daily views in Shorts as of March this year. That is almost double the 3.5 billion it had at the end of last year.
Furthermore, there had been a rapid rise of previously unknown creators on Shorts. Some examples are Thivi Baskar and Dan Rhodes. Thivi Baskar posts make-up tutorials while Dan Rhodes performs magic tricks in his videos. The latter learned those tricks from videos on YouTube, but like Thivi, opted to post his content on TikTok. They both believed that TikTok would more quickly get them the notoriety and audience they desired.
However, when Shorts came, they gave it a try. Within two weeks, Rhodes’ YouTube subscribers jumped from 17,000 to over a million. Thivi Baskar also saw success on Shorts. She now ranks at the top of the beauty category by traffic on YouTube. From here, we can draw that introducing the Shorts feature was a good move for YouTube. It added a new flavor to the network, generating excitement. “It’s almost like we’re building YouTube again,” said Todd Sherman, a product manager for Shorts.
Sundar Pichai, Alphabet’s chief executive officer, cited Shorts in a list of recent bright spots for the company.
Date: August 24, 2021 / Categories: YouTube, / Author: Joy P