Posts

YouTube’s latest video format, called YouTube Shorts, is finally coming to the USA next month, after several months of testing internationally.

The short (15 seconds or less) vertical video format was first rolled out as a beta test in India back in September 2020. Though it may have taken a little bit to catch on, YouTube says that the number of channels using the video format has more than tripled since December.

Currently, the platform says YouTube Shorts are getting more than 3.5 billion daily views in India alone. 

Come March, US users will be able to see what all the buzz about as the format and associated video creation tools arrive in America.

What Are YouTube Shorts?

Unsurprisingly, many have compared YouTube Shorts to TikTok clips or the popular Stories format found on several other platforms. This is because YouTube Shorts share a number of features with the increasingly trendy format:

  • Users can create and upload short videos of 15 seconds or less.
  • Edit your videos with a range of creative tools.
  • Stitch several short clips together with a multi-segment editor.
  • Add licensed music to your videos through YouTube’s music library.
  • Speed up or slow down your video footage for dramatic effect.
  • Use timers and countdowns to plan your video shoots.

Additionally, the company says it is introducing a carousel on the YouTube homepage dedicated completely to Shorts.

YouTube Shorts Aim To Make Content Creation Easier For All

One of YouTube’s biggest goals with the new video format is to make the barrier to content creation and exposure on the platform lower 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.”

With YouTube Shorts users can immediately start creating their own content without the need for high-quality equipment or editing skills.

Even more enticing, YouTube says it is going to count Shorts views the same way as regular video views – creating a fast pathway for big metrics for new users. This will also make it easier for new users to reach the milestones needed to monetize content through the YouTube Partner Program.

More is sure to come in the next few weeks as YouTube seems poised to prioritize Shorts in big ways. 

In the next few weeks, the company is launching a dedicated biweekly Shorts Report to highlight all the latest updates and provide useful tips to users. Keep your eyes peeled as new info as the biweekly reports start arriving and YouTube Shorts finally come to the US.

According to an update on the YouTube Help page, Google Analytics has stopped collecting new data from YouTube channels beginning February 1st. 

While older data is still available, any new information will be available solely through YouTube Studio. 

The change doesn’t come as a particularly big surprise. Users lost the ability to link Google Analytics and YouTube pages in November of last year. However, connected channels were able to keep tracking data from YouTube until now. 

Most likely already rely on YouTube Analytics for monitoring their channel performance, as it has always offered significantly more information compared to what could be found in Google Analytics. The ability to track major YouTube metrics through Google’s tool set was more about conveniently checking both platforms at the same time. 

Still, those affected received little warning about the change. The only information relating to the decision was buried in a YouTube Help page. 

What You Should Know About YouTube Analytics

While YouTube Analytics offers all the information you have come to expect from Google Analytics (and more), there are a couple key differences. 

Most importantly, you don’t have to add any tracking code, pixels, or anything else to get your data. YouTube collects information about engagement, views, and more for your channel and videos automatically. 

You will also find more granular information, with everything from specific audience details for every video on your channel, revenue information, and search terms used to find your channel. 

All of this is collected within five main tabs:

  • Overview: This section collects essential broad metrics for your channel, like watch time, total views, and subscribers. Here you will find reports addressing top videos, realtime activity, latest videos, and average performance. 
  • Reach: The ‘Reach’ tab shows your overall connection with YouTube users with data on impressions and clicks. Users can get reports for traffic source types, top external sources, impressions, and search terms in this section.
  • Engagement: Now, we start moving deeper to exactly what your viewers are watching on your channel as shown by total watch minutes. Read reports for top videos and playlists, top cards, and end screens here.
  • Audience: Explore who your viewers are with data on unique viewers, average videos watched per viewer, and overall subscriber growth. Reports included here cover audience location, demographics, and other channels they interact with. 
  • Revenue: If you are a member of the YouTube Partner Program, you will also find this tab that addresses how much money is being generated through monetized videos. 

For a brief guide on YouTube Studio Analytics, watch the video from the YouTube Creators channel below:

YouTube’s Trending section is one of the most coveted areas for video creators to appear, as it introduces countless users to entirely new channels and topics every day. As it is one of the few areas on YouTube which isn’t influenced by users’ watch histories, opening the opportunity for people to find things they otherwise never would have watched. 

Perhaps most importantly, the list of videos is the same for users across an entire country, meaning a video creator could theoretically reach every American user if they manage to get into the YouTube Trending section. 

Of course, as the section content creators most aspire to be in, the Trending section has also developed its fair shares of myths and misunderstandings about how it works over the years.

From the idea you have to pay someone to get in, to the belief that there is an ideal time to publish your video, YouTube’s Creator Insider channel recently debunked some of the biggest myths surrounding the prized YouTube Trending section.

Myth 1: Preferential Treatment

Perhaps the oldest myth about the YouTube Trending section is that it’s all about who you know or who you pay. Unless you have connections at YouTube or you are willing to grease some palms, you won’t break into the VIP-esque Trending section. 

Now, this is obviously not true. There is no one you can pay or buddy up to in order to get into the Trending section. 

While YouTube’s algorithms are extremely complex and can be hard to decipher, it is clear there is a method to the madness. Specifically, YouTube considers these factors when selecting the latest Trending videos:

  • View count
  • How quickly the video is generating views
  • Where the views are coming from (including off YouTube)
  • The age of the video
  • How the video performing compared to recent uploads from the same channel

Additionally, videos have to be free of excessive profanity, violence, mature, or disparaging content to appear in the Trending section. 

Myth 2: You’ve Got To Be Well-Known

Due to its nature, there is a commonly held belief that the Trending section is dominated exclusively by famous comedians, talk-show hosts, and influencers with massive followings like Jake Paul or PewDiePie. 

Not only is that not how the Trending section works, it goes against the actual purpose of the list. 

While many recognizable faces regularly appear in YouTube Trending, the company actually works to guarantee at least half of the videos at any given time come from smaller creators. 

In addition to this, the YouTube Trending section also includes areas which specifically showcase a daily “creator on the rise” and “artist on the rise.”

Myth 3: There’s a Perfect Time To Publish

Since YouTube has never revealed the more minute details about the Trending section, many have developed theories about the ideal time and way to publish their video to boost their chances. 

This one falls under mostly false. The YouTube Trending feed updates every 15 minutes, so exactly when your video is uploaded does very little to directly influence your chances. 

However, it is very possible there is a best time to publish for your audience. This is something that can only be discovered through trial, error, and analysis, though, so I wouldn’t spend much energy listening to anyone who says you have to be publishing at a specific time to make it on the Trending list. 


To hear more about these myths and their explanations, check out the full video from YouTube’s Creator Insider channel below:

Since its introduction in 2018, YouTube Premieres has let channels hype up their upcoming videos with countdowns and reminders for subscribers. Now, the platform is revamping the tool with ‘Premieres 2.0’.

With four new features and expanded options available, YouTube says this is the biggest update to the tool since its creation.

How YouTube Premieres Works

The overall goal of YouTube Premieres is to turn the launch of your videos into a collective experience. Not only can you schedule your video ahead of time and share it to hype up your audience, Premieres also allows you to increase the interactivity with live chats or Q&A’s during your videos.

The only catch is that your channel must have at least 1,000 subscribers to take advantage of some more advanced Premieres features, though YouTube says it hopes to make the entire toolset widely available in the future.

New YouTube Premieres Features

Live Redirect

The new Live Redirect feature allows you to connect pre-recorded videos with live streaming events.

With this, you can hold pre-premiere chats or streams to build up excitement or bring a more personal feel to the event. 

Then, when it is time for your video to go live, users will automatically be directed to the new video.

An important caveat here is that Live Redirects can only be set up for videos and streams taking place on the same channel. So, video creators won’t be able to hold interviews or chats on a secondary channel and then automatically direct users to the new video on your channel.

Live Redirects will roll out to users later this month.

Trailers

Rather than having to upload an entirely separate video on your channel to build excitement for your upcoming premiere, YouTube will now let you share previews between 15 seconds and 3 minutes long.

The trailers for your upcoming videos will play for those who open a premiere watch page before the video goes live, giving more incentive to open a video early.

With the current system, you will still have to upload a public video on your channel to act as the trailer, but this new feature makes the Premiere page more effective and engaging. 

Without a trailer, your Premieres will simply show your video’s static thumbnail until the content becomes available.

Trailers for Premieres will be available to users this week.

More Countdown Themes

Although YouTube has provided an automatic countdown for immediately before your videos premiere, there has only been a single theme available. This made all premieres overly similar and many expressed frustration that the theme didn’t accurately reflect their content.

Now, you can select from a collection of 10 countdown themes with a variety of styles and moods.

These themes are aimed to cover everything from serious or educational videos to lighthearted or funny clips.

The new countdown themes will become available early next year.

 Schedule Your Premieres From Mobile

In the past, the only way to schedule a Premiere for your YouTube video was through the desktop platform. Now, for the first time, you will soon be able to schedule and manage your Premieres directly through the mobile app. 

For creators who manage their channels largely through the mobile app, this streamlines the process and makes holding a Premiere more convenient.

For more information, you can check out the video from YouTube below:

YouTube has introduced a major change to how it handles advertising which has many content creators, users, and advertisers outraged.

Breaking with its tradition of sharing ad revenue with the channels they are shown on, YouTube is beginning to show ads on channels which have not opted into monetization. 

This means that the channel creator did not approve the inclusion of ads and – perhaps most importantly – they will not receive any revenue from the placement of ads within their videos. 

Until now, video creators had to join the YouTube Partner Program and enable monetization in order for ads to be shown on videos across their channel.

This helped strike a balance where those who wanted could create their videos planning for the inclusion of ads while others could rely on sponsorships to generate revenue or simply not monetize their videos. 

All of this was introduced via a change to YouTube’s Terms of Service with very little communication to users and content creators. 

Right To Monetize

YouTube added a new section to its Terms of Services recently titled Right to Monetize which introduces the ability to advertise on any and all videos. 

In order to use YouTube, all users must agree to the Terms of Service, making it mandatory for uploading videos or even viewing and  engaging with videos. 

A brief selection of the new section largely lays out the changes taking place:

“You grant to YouTube the right to monetize your Content on the Service (and such monetization may include displaying ads on or within Content or charging users a fee for access). This Agreement does not entitle you to any payments.”

Although YouTube says it is starting slowly by rolling out ads to a small number of channels which have not joined the Partner Program, it will be hard to track how true this actually is. The company has chosen not to notify channels when ads begin appearing on their videos, so it is hard to gauge how widely the change has been implemented. 

While YouTube says channels which are not part of the Partner Program can apply for the program if they wish to receive revenue, it is also true that not everyone is eligible for the YouTube Partner Program. 

YouTube Partner Program Requirements

To be eligible for the YouTube Partner Program, channels have to meet a number of conditions. The biggest hurdles for most channels are the requirements stating you must have more than 4,000 valid public watch hours in the last 12 months and more than 1,000 subscribers. Adult-oriented topics may also run into issues with content guidelines.

How This Affects Advertisers

The most obvious group affected by this change are small video creators who do not meet the requirements for the YouTube Partner Program but will have ads placed on their videos nonetheless or have opted to not include ads within their videos. 

However, the new ad policies may also have an effect on advertisers. If viewers receive a double-dose of advertising through an in-video sponsorship and mid-roll ad, they may be less likely to engage with either advertisement. 

Additionally, smaller channels may cover more niche topics or themes making it harder to properly target ads to that audience. 

Lastly, the revised rules on advertising may have an unintended consequence of driving more users to YouTube’s ad-free premium service, YouTube Red. This means that although YouTube would keep getting revenue, ads may actually have smaller reach than ever and drive less sales. 

As expected, the new rules have not been warmly received. Countless creators both big and small have uploaded videos decrying the new Terms of Service agreement, with some going as far as to announce they will be changing platforms or altogether boycotting YouTube.

For now it appears YouTube is sticking with the policy change, though there is always the possibility for the platform to amend or revise its agreement if negative response is widespread enough. 

Over the weekend, YouTube announced a series of 5 new updates to make it easier for people to find, watch, and interact with videos on mobile devices. 

The updates affect a wide range of features while also introducing a few new ways to use the YouTube app, including:

  • Easier Browsing of Video Chapters
  • Streamlined Player Pages
  • New Gestures
  • Suggested Actions
  • Bedtime Reminders

As the video platform says in the announcement

“With a global community of two billion people on YouTube, we’re always looking for ways to make it easier to watch and interact with your favorite videos.”

With that in mind, let’s explore these new updates which are now available for all mobile users.

Better Video Chapters

YouTube is building on its video chapters feature (which lets content creators break up their videos into digestible sections).

Now, users can browse a complete list of all the chapters in your videos as they are watching. This makes it easier to rewind or skip to the most interesting sections. 

In the list, each chapter will have its own individual thumbnail, title, and timestamp. 

As before, these chapters are set by simply writing out the timestamps and titles in the description section of your videos. 

The only requirements are that you include at least three chapters in your video, with the first one beginning at “0:00”. Additionally, each chapter must be at least 10 seconds long. 

These chapters also appear in Google search results, making this a powerful form of SEO for your videos. 

Streamlined Video Player

YouTube has subtly simplified its player page with a few tweaks:

  • Closed Captions button has been moved to the top.
  • Autoplay toggle has also been moved to the top.
  • Rearranging some buttons, such as the “Save” and “Share” buttons previously at the top.

New Gestures

The app has been improved to support new gestures, including a quick way to exit full-screen mode. Now, you just have to swipe up to enter full-screen mode, then swipe down to exit.

You can also quickly pull up details like elapsed time and time remaining by tapping the timestamp. 

Suggested Actions

YouTube is now notifying users when a video is meant to be watched a specific way. For example, a VR device will be recommended when trying to watch a video made for virtual reality, and the app will suggest rotating your phone to properly view a widescreen format video. 

Bedtime Reminders

The last feature is focused on helping users maintain their well-being by setting specific times to stop watching videos and go to sleep. 

The feature can be set up in the settings section or by tapping your profile picture and selecting “Time Watched”. 

From there, you can set up reminders and select if you would like the tool to “Wait until I finish my video to show reminder”.

When the alert appears, you can snooze the reminder which will turn it off for 10 minutes. After that time the reminder will pop up again. 


These features are all available now for all users on iOS and Android devices. They are rolling out to others in the next few days.

Google is testing the waters of short-form videos with a new platform similar to the popular but controversial TikTok.

The company announced it is be launching a new service called YouTube Shorts which will focus on short, catchy videos like those found on TikTok or Instagram Reels. 

The announcement describes the new service as:

“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.“

For now, YouTube Shorts is limited to India as Google tests its features and public reception. 

Though features will be limited at launch, Google says YouTube Shorts will eventually include a variety of features, including:

  • 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.
  • Timers and countdowns.

Early Version

The version launching to users in India this week is reportedly a very limited version of the tool including only a portion of the features that will be implemented in the final release. 

The purpose of the early test is to get feedback from early users so the company can better prioritize their efforts before releasing the service to a wider audience. 

Of course, this is likely not the only reason the company decided to test the service in India. 

India banned TikTok from operating within its country on June 29 of this year, similar to the actions taken by President Trump to eventually force the company out of the U.S. 

With this in mind, there is a clear opportunity to those who launch their own take on the tool in the country sooner rather than later. Still, YouTube has already confirmed it will be bringing YouTube Shorts to more countries in the near future.

YouTube is expanding its analytics tools to allow content creators and channel managers to better compare their metrics against other data and competitors.

Specifically, the company is changing how its “Deep Dive” section of analytics functions by allowing you to compare multiple metrics side-by-side simultaneously.

Deep Dive Data

The Deep Dive section is designed to allow creators to compare their channel’s and video’s performance over time. It can be found after clicking the “see more” button next to any metrics in your overview screen.

Initially, this section only allowed video managers to view the performance of a single metric at a time – such as their video views over time.

Now, you can view multiple metrics at the same time within the same graph, making it easier to get an understanding of how specific metrics improve your overall channel’s performance or how some metrics feed others.

For example, YouTube recommends checking out the comparison of ‘views versus comments’ to show if some videos are getting more or less comments compared to other videos with similar view counts.

Another recommended comparison is the chart of ‘views versus revenue’ if you are monetizing your content.

Other Ways To Compare Data

Along with allowing you to monitor several metrics at once, the Deep Dive section is being improved to make it possible to compare a few other types of data, such as:

  • Period over period: Compare month versus month performance, or year versus year.
  • Top videos: Compare a channel’s overall top videos from one month over another.
  • Audience: A geographic comparison shows where your audience is coming from month to month.

For more information about the new analytics comparison features and other upcoming improvements to YouTube analytics, check out the full video below:

Google is making it easier to find the most important information in YouTube videos for users by including timestamps in search results. 

The feature has been in testing for the better part of a year but has officially been announced this week.

As the company explains:

“Videos aren’t skimmable like text, meaning it can be easy to overlook video content altogether.

Now, just live we’ve worked to make other types of information more easily accessible, we’re developing new ways to understand and organize video content in Search to make it more useful for you.”

The feature is already rolling out, but video publishers will need to take a couple quick and easy steps to ensure the timestamps will appear when their videos show up in search results.

How To Add Timestamps To Your YouTube Videos In Search Results

The good news is there is absolutely no coding or complex technical knowledge needed to provide Google with the information necessary to include relevant timestamps. 

All you have to do is provide a simple list of timestamps and what they relate to within the description section of your videos. For example:

00:05 – Intro

01:30 – Step 1

02:15 – Step 2

03:40 – Step 3

05:00 – Conclusion

Notably, Google is extending this feature to non-YouTube videos as well. However, the process requires a bit more work to properly mark-up. To start the process of adding timestamps to non-YouTube videos, Google asks you to fill out this form. Afterward, they will provide you with the necessary information for marking-up your videos.

YouTube has ramped up its efforts to remove harmful content over the last quarter, as a new report shows the company removing over 100,000 individual videos. 

That is nearly 5 times the number of videos removed in the first quarter of the year, reflecting a big shift in activity following a new hate speech policy introduced in June. 

Additionally, the company says it has removed over 17,000 channels and 500 million comments in Q2. 

Notably, YouTube says a large amount of the harmful content is flagged using machine learning technology to remove the content before it is ever seen by actual users. According to the company’s data, more than 87% of the videos removed in Q2 were first flagged by YouTube’s automatic systems. 

The report also mentions that an update to YouTube’s spam detection tools has driven a 50% increase in the number of channels removed for violating the platform’s spam guidelines. 

YouTube says the report is only the first in a four-part series which will cover the company’s guiding principles:

  • Remove content that violates policies
  • Raise up authoritative voices
  • Reward eligible creators
  • Reduce the spread of borderline content

As such, you can expect to see more details about how YouTube is working to curate the best platform possible in the near future.