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YouTube Points to Shorts as Key Development Opportunity in 2021



If you’re looking to maximize your YouTube performance in 2021, it may be worth considering what types of short-form video clips you could also post to the platform, in addition to your regular uploads.

Last week, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki outlined the company’s key areas of focus for the year ahead, which included this note:

“More people are creating content on their phones, which is why we’re investing to give creators more video editing tools. We’re now beta testing YouTube Shorts in India and we’re excited to help the next generation of mobile creators tell their stories by lowering the barriers to entry. So far, videos in our new Shorts player – which helps people around the world watch short videos on YouTube – are receiving an impressive 3.5 billion daily views! We’re looking forward to expanding Shorts to more markets this year.”

Yes, Shorts, YouTube’s TikTok clone functionality, is already seeing 3.5 billion views a day. The majority of those, you would assume are occurring in India, where YouTube added Shorts to fill the gap left by TikTok after it was banned back in June. But even so, it does suggest that Shorts does have promise, and could become a much bigger consideration, if YouTube does indeed choose to make the Shorts feed more of a focus.

YouTube Shorts

To recap, Shorts, as it sounds, is a feed of short video clips, each a maximum of 60 seconds in length, presented in mobile-friendly vertical format. The Shorts feed appears within the home feed in the YouTube app, while as Wojcicki notes, users in India also have access to a dedicated Shorts camera tool (last frame above), which YouTube is yet to roll out more broadly.

Users not in India can have their short videos included within the Shorts feed by including the hashtag #Shorts in the title of their short clip uploads. So it is possible to start adding Shorts to your account right now – and given that it looks set to become a bigger focus, that may be worth considering, or at the least, it could be worth mapping out a potential short video strategy, either for YouTube specifically, or one that includes YouTube, along with TikTok and Reels.

Yes, it’s a direct rip-off of TikTok, and yes, it means adding another content creation process into your mix. But like Stories before it, short-video feeds are fast becoming the new norm for many users – and as such, an important consideration for maximizing your digital marketing performance.



Iran pop singer silenced, but his song remains a protest anthem



Shervin Hajipour's song "Baraye" draws on the tweets of Iranians longing for a normal life

Shervin Hajipour’s song “Baraye” draws on the tweets of Iranians longing for a normal life – Copyright Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP)/AFP –

David Vujanovic

Even though he has been silenced, Iranian pop singer Shirvin Hajipour’s impassioned song in support of protests over Mahsa Amini’s death in custody remains an unofficial anthem of the movement.

The song “Baraye” notched up 40 million views on Instagram before it was deleted when Hajipour was arrested, but he has since been freed on bail and has distanced himself from politics, likely as a condition for his release.

Baraye, the Persian word “For” or “Because”, is composed of tweets about the protests and highlights longings people have for things lacking in sanctions-hit Iran, where many complain of hardship caused by economic mismanagement.

It also draws on everyday activities that have landed people in trouble with the authorities in the Islamic republic.

“For the sake of dancing in the streets; Because of the fear felt while kissing; For my sister, your sister, your sisters,” the song’s lyrics say.


“Because of the embarrassment of an empty pocket; Because we are longing for a normal life… Because of this polluted air.”

Baraye has been heard played loudly at night from apartment blocks in Iran to show support for protests sparked by Amini’s death on September 16, after the notorious morality police arrested her for allegedly breaching rules requiring women to wear hijab headscarves and modest clothes.

It was also sung with gusto by the Iranian diaspora at rallies in more than 150 cities around the world at the weekend.

In one clip shared by the New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran, a group of schoolgirls without headscarves is seen singing Baraye in class with their backs to the camera.

The tune was removed from Hajipour’s Instagram account shortly after his arrest but is still widely available on other social media platforms, including Twitter and YouTube.

– ‘Because of forced Instagram stories’ –

Hajipour’s lawyer Majid Kaveh said he was released on bail at noon on Tuesday.

The reformist Shargh newspaper said his family had been informed of his arrest in the northern city of Sari on Saturday, in a report that cited his sister Kamand Hajipour.


She had said in an Instagram post that her parents had been informed of his arrest in a call from the city’s intelligence ministry offices.

Shortly after his release, Hajipour was back on Instagram, but this time to apologise and distance himself from politics.

“I’m here to say I’m okay,” he told his 1.9 million followers on the platform.

“But I’m sorry that some particular movements based outside of Iran — which I have had no relations with — made some improper political uses of this song.

“I would not swap this (country) for anywhere else and I will stay for my homeland, my flag, my people, and I will sing.

“I don’t want to be a plaything for those who do not think of me, you or this country,” he added.

In response to his post, many on Twitter suggested the line “Because of forced Instagram stories” should be added to the lyrics of the song.

Human rights groups including Article 19 have repeatedly called on Iran to end its use of forced confessions, which they say are false and extracted under duress or even torture.


In one recent case, a young Iranian woman, Sepideh Rashno, disappeared after becoming involved in a dispute on a Tehran bus with another woman who accused her of removing her headscarf.

She was held by the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and appeared on television in what activists said was a forced confession before being released on bail in late August.

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