YouTube’s TikTok-inspired short-form video feed ‘Shorts’ was launched one year ago, marking a key shift in focus for the platform, which has since become an important growth element for the app.
Shorts was actually launched last September, with Indian users being the first to get access to the format. Following TikTok’s ban in India last June, where TikTok had been serving more than 200 million active users, both Facebook and YouTube saw an opportunity to fill the void, and gather up those orphaned TikTok users with the introduction of Instagram Reels and Shorts respectively.
Both have since gained significant traction in the Indian market, while Shorts was launched for all US users earlier this year. So it hasn’t had a full year in the US market as yet, but it has been around probably longer than you thought, and YouTube has used that time to research what Shorts users want most, and how it can evolve the platform in-line with the latest shifts.
In many ways, Shorts is still a fair way behind TikTok, and Reels. Case in point – just recently, YouTube added ‘green screen’ functionality to Shorts, an option that’s been available on both the other apps for a long time.
But the broader popularity of short-form video is helping to boost Shorts usage, while YouTube’s recent introduction of its Shorts Fund, which pays top Shorts creators based on content performance, could be another way to help maximize use of the option.
So what does YouTube see as the top priorities for Shorts after one year of development? Check the infographic overview below.
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