YouTube continues to make Shorts a bigger focus, with a new addition on the desktop version of YouTube channel pages that will display each channel’s Shorts clips (where available) in a separate element.
As you can see in this example, now, when a channel has uploaded Shorts, they’ll be displayed in a separate section, giving Shorts content more specific focus, and likely driving more viewers, which could also make Shorts a more critical promotional element.
Which, again, is in line with usage trends, and engagement around short video clips. Indeed, YouTube recently reported that Shorts clips have cumulatively amassed over 5 trillion views thus far, and with Shorts catching on in India in particular, it makes sense for YouTube to lean into the format where it can, and help its creators boost their channel performance via the format.
This is where YouTube is looking to make a bigger push on Shorts, and put more pressure on TikTok. Rather than making an individual Shorts app to take on TikTok directly, YouTube’s framing Shorts as a supplementary element to your main YouTube channel, which is where YouTube creators are able to make the most money, and by more overtly linking the two, YouTube’s hoping to showcase its broader monetization potential to top video stars, which could make YouTube’s overall offering a much more attractive option than TikTok, which doesn’t yet have a comparable revenue-generation process in place.
This new display is the next element in that push, by giving Shorts key focus within the broader scope of a creators’ channel, helping to promote both to viewers – and ideally, attract more views for each.
In addition to this, YouTube has also launched an updated channel editing process on mobile, new custom thumbnails for videos on demand, and an updated display of user gender listings in analytics.
But the Shorts shelf is the key update, and as YouTube continues to explore new ways to both lean into short video clips, and put the squeeze on TikTok, you can bet that more TikTok stars will indeed be looking YouTube’s way, especially as others make the switch and start making big dollars from their content.
TikTok may be the cooler platform, but money talks, and it may eventually end up yelling if more of the top stars do indeed make the switch.
You can learn more about YouTube’s latest updates here.
Meta Announces WhatsApp Cloud API to Provide Hosting Support for SMBs
After previewing the option back in 2020, today, at its first-ever ‘Conversations’ messaging conference, Meta has announced that it’s launching the WhatsApp Cloud API, which will provide free, secure cloud hosting services for businesses.
As it sounds, the WhatsApp Cloud API will essentially host your conversation data on Meta’s servers, which will improve connection and speed, but will come with a degree of privacy trade-off.
The main benefits will be improved speed in messaging response, while it’ll also help to eliminate server expenses, which could be a big benefit to smaller businesses, in particular. It’ll also facilitate faster access to new WhatsApp business features as they become available.
The downside is that it will mean more reliance on Meta, while you’ll also need to dilute WhatsApp’s messaging security measures:
As Meta described in its original announcement:
“If a business chooses to use a third-party vendor to operate the WhatsApp Business API on their behalf, we do not consider that to be end-to-end encrypted since the business you are messaging has chosen to give a third-party vendor access to those messages. This will also be the case if that third-party vendor is Facebook.”
As such, WhatsApp will include new notifications on consumer-to-business exchanges conducted through Meta hosting.
How you feel about such trade-offs will come down to your personal perspective, but the offering could be highly valuable for smaller businesses looking to build out their tech stack, without having to sign on to a third-party hosting vendor, or buy their own hardware.
But again, that does also mean increasing your reliance on Meta, which has notoriously changed the rules on businesses in the past, leaving many in the lurch.
The real benefit, however, will likely be in developing regions, where WhatsApp is the dominant messaging platform, and many small businesses are looking for ways to maximize their reach and transactions in-app. If Meta can assist them in building their business, that could be a big step in making WhatsApp a more critical utility, for many more users, while also, eventually, providing a direct revenue pathway for the messaging platform.
Though it does feel like a bit of a honey trap. Meta has already flagged that it will eventually introduce charges for these additional elements, without specifically outlining what those costs will be. Once businesses are reliant on such, it’ll be too late to back out, and Meta could ensnare them via incremental increases, that may eventually become a big earner for the company.
On another front, Meta also announced Recurring Notifications on Messenger, which will enable businesses to re-engage people within a messaging thread. The feature is only available to premium users at present, which doesn’t cost more to be part of right now, but will in future as Meta looks to incorporate new charges for its messaging and hosting tools.
You can check out replays of the Conversations conference presentations here.
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