Many platforms have noticed that the attention span of users has been steadily dropping over the years. Due to many competing stimuli on the screen, social media giants have dug into the nitty gritty of what makes their users tick. The result of this has been to adapt content to fit with the attention spans of users and keep up with the changing digital video world.

Ever since Stories were introduced by Snapchat, many other platforms followed suit in order to deliver engaging content suited for snap viewing. It seems now that every platform has its own iteration of stories, even LinkedIn!

Looking at the growing social media platforms like TikTok place an emphasis on short and direct content. The ‘scrolling effect’ also keeps users engaged as they can quickly sort through content without having to dissect their recommendations or subscriptions. YouTube has followed suit by introducing what is known as “YouTube Shorts”.

But what are YouTube Shorts?

In a similar format to stories on other platforms, YouTube shorts allows a user to record a vertically shot video for up to 60 seconds. These will be delivered to YouTube users’ shorts deck (still in beta), recommendations or subscription feeds. The idea again here is to give creators more ways to connect with their audience and engagement in this snappy format provides highly targeted content.

Although YouTube content creators will not be able to monetise this content, engaging your community especially in the current climate has never been more important. Especially with more creators seeking crowdfunding, making sure you have a personal and deep connection with your audience is at the core of what your channel should be. Furthermore, providing this deeper meaning and context for your content helps users better engage with your main stream of content. This is especially important when you have upcoming projects or brand opportunities that you are looking to promote.

Now more than ever this two-way communication has become fundamental to growing and engaging your community. If you are a creator, have you used YouTube Shorts before? What was your experience and was your audience receptive? On the flip side, if you are a user, what do you want from creators in their shorts? Is providing context and meaning of value to you or is just a way to pass the time?


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