YouTube Shorts: Everything You Need to Know
On the Blueprint Film blog, we strive to provide valuable advice on how businesses and marketers can best practice video marketing across different channels. This week, we’re focusing on YouTube’s answer to TikTok and Reels: YouTube Shorts. With Shorts attracting over 15 billion views every day, it is a platform worth knowing about.
So what is YouTube Shorts, what does it offer businesses and marketers, and how can you view and create Shorts? In this guide, I will cover everything that you need to know about YouTube Shorts. Read on to learn about the features, requirements, best practices and more for Shorts.
WHAT IS YOUTUBE SHORTS?
YouTube Shorts are videos on YouTube, optimised for both creating and viewing on mobile. Shorts are under 60 seconds in length and usually vertical in format. They have their own separate tab on the YouTube website and app. Shorts launched globally in July 2021, making it a relatively recent addition to the video platform.
“Shorts is a new short-form video experience for creators and artists who want to shoot short, catchy videos using nothing but their mobile phones.”
- Length: maximum 60 seconds
- Aspect Ratio: 9:16 (vertical) — also accepts 1:1 ratio
- Video Resolution: minimum of 600 x 600 pixels, maximum of 1920 x 1080 pixels
- Upload and edit videos recorded outside the app
- Save Shorts as drafts
- Set timer/countdown for recording hands-free
- Add text e.g. subtitles, commentary, captions
- Green screen option (use media from camera roll in the background)
IS YOUTUBE SHORTS WORTHWHILE FOR MY BUSINESS?
Are you already posting short-form video content to platforms like Tik Tok and Instagram? Then reposting that same content to Shorts is a no-brainer. This allows you to reach more people without having to create new content.
Another factor to consider is how much of your audience is on YouTube. Perhaps your business already posts regular videos on the platform. Shorts is a powerful way to reach your potential or existing audience on the video-sharing website. It helps that over 70% of all YouTube watch time comes from mobile devices — and that Shorts are designed for watching on mobile.
Also, consider the growth and popularity of the platform. YouTube only launched Shorts in the US in March 2021. But a few months later, it reached 15 billion daily views. Then in January 2022, it passed 5 trillion all-time views.
HOW DO I ACCESS YOUTUBE SHORTS?
- Mobile: Shorts is available to everyone globally within the YouTube app. Shorts has its own tab within the app. You can also find Shorts by scrolling down the home tab.
- Desktop: YouTube also allows users to watch Shorts on its desktop site. Click on the hamburger menu in the top left corner of the website. ‘Shorts’ is the third tab down, lying between ‘Explore’ and ‘Subscriptions’,
HOW DO I CREATE VIDEOS FOR YOUTUBE SHORTS?
- Open the YouTube app and tap the plus sign on the bottom centre of the screen.
- Tap ‘Create a Short‘. (If you have not already, you will need to allow YouTube to access your device’s camera and microphone.)
- Tap the red record button to start filming your video. (Shorts automatically sets videos to 15 seconds. But if you want to make a longer video, tap the ’15’ above the record button to change it to 60 seconds.)
- Play around with the different options in the menu on the right.
- Once you’re happy, tap the white check in the bottom-right corner of the screen to preview your video and add sound, text, timed captions and filters.
- Tap the ‘NEXT‘ button in the top-right corner to add a title, alter the visibility and select the audience.
- Tap the ‘UPLOAD SHORT‘ button along the bottom of the screen to publish your content.
YOUTUBE SHORTS BEST PRACTICES:
- You cannot set thumbnails for Shorts, so the opening few seconds are vital. Go for bold visuals, unique editing and popular trends.
- Create a video that loops to encourage users to watch it over and over again.
- YouTube recommends that you include #shorts in your video’s title or description to help the system recommend your Shorts across YouTube.
- Add an engaging title/caption and description with relevant hashtags.
- 72% of users post Shorts that are longer than 15 seconds — make the most of that 60-second limit.