Did you know that the first video published on YouTube was only 18-seconds long?
Since launching in 2005, the video giant’s founders have learned time and time again that content doesn’t need to be long to engage audiences.
YouTube Shorts — a YouTube app feature that rivals TikTok and Instagram Reels — began its first round of testing in India last September. The beta feature enables users to see and create 15-second videos with musical overlays.
Even in its most basic beta form, the Shorts feature has already seen solid performance in India. In late February, Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai announced that videos on the India-based Shorts player receive 3.5 billion cumulative daily views.
When You Can Access YouTube Shorts
YouTube users — at least in the U.S. — could see Shorts appear any day now.
A recent post from YouTube’s Chief Product Officer Niel Mohan mentioned that Shorts is expected to be released in the U.S. in March.
While there’s no word on a global launch yet, Pichai recently told the press, “We are looking forward to expanding Shorts to more countries this year.”
As the full launch of YouTube Shorts inches closer, marketers are likely wondering how they’ll take advantage of this video feature, what the final platform will look like, if it will have similar virality to TikTok, and how it could help brands better engage with YouTube’s more than 2 billion active users.
The truth is, as short-form video platforms grow more and more popular, it’s hard to know which will rise above the others. And, because the YouTube Shorts could evolve between now and its official launch, we can’t fully predict what using it will be like.
However, because YouTube already houses millions of hours of branded content, YouTube Shorts could be worth your time — especially if you already have a video strategy on the platform.
Below, I’ll walk through the basics ofYouTube Shorts, and what opportunities it could provide for marketers upon its official launch.
What is YouTube Shorts?
YouTube Shorts enables users to produce vertical short-form videos, with features such as video-segmenting, app-based recording, and musical overlays. Videos must be 15-seconds or less and do not disappear like Instagram Reels or Stories content.