YouTube Shorts Launching in USA in March 2021
Shorts launched in India in September 2020 where it currently remains in beta. YouTube says the number of Indian channels using Shorts creation tools has more than tripled since December.
YouTube is sharing engagement data for the first time, revealing that Shorts receive more than 3.5 billion daily views.
The format is drawing comparisons to TikTok as YouTube Shorts shares a similar set of features. Users can:
- Create and upload videos of 15-seconds or less.
- Edit videos with a number of creative tools.
- Stitch shorter clips together with a multi-segment camera.
- Add music to videos from YouTube’s library.
- Speed up or slow down videos.
- Set timers and countdowns.
These features, which are all built into the YouTube app in India, are what users in the USA can expect when the update rolls out next month.
The forthcoming update will see a carousel added to the YouTube home page that’s designed for Shorts.
Users will be able to navigate from one video to another by scrolling vertically while viewing content. Again, similar to TikTok.
YouTubers can create content for the Shorts carousel either with the in-app camera or by uploading a video from their camera roll. Any vertical video of 15-seconds or less qualifies for inclusion in the Shorts carousel.
Making YouTube more accessible to new creators
YouTube says one of the problems it’s trying to solve with the addition of Shorts is the high barrier to entry for new creators:
“Every year, increasing numbers of people come to YouTube to launch their own channel. But we know there’s still a huge amount of people who find the bar for creation too high.
That’s why we’re working on Shorts, our new short-form video tool that lets creators and artists shoot snappy videos with nothing but their mobile phones.”
Shorts allows new users to immediately start contributing content to the YouTube ecosystem without having to film and edit an entire video.
Another way Shorts can assist new creators is how they’re counted like regular video views. This is something we only learned last month.
Counting views for Shorts like regular videos can help new creators looking to make money from YouTube by getting accepted into the YouTube Partner Program (YPP).
Being a member of the YPP allows creators to run ads in their videos and keep a share of the revenue earned.
A requirement for getting accepted into the program is accumulating 4,000 valid public watch hours in the past 12 months. Creating Shorts videos is now another way for creators to reach that threshold.
More Shorts updates on the way?
I published a story yesterday where I suggested big updates to YouTube Shorts may soon be on the way.
That’s because YouTube is launching a biweekly Shorts Report to keep users informed of the latest updates.
The announcement of a US launch is the first major development since the rollout of the Shorts Report. Expect more information to follow as we get closer to the launch date.