YouTube Shorts: The Value of Bite-Sized UGC

YouTube Shorts are being rolled out in the US.  Whilst it’s early days for the new short-form UGC video experience, which YouTube says is “for creators and artists who want to shoot short, catchy videos using nothing but their mobile phones”, it has already surpassed 6.5 billion daily global views.  That’s a big win for the social giant in its battle to keep creators making videos for the platform, instead of switching to TikTok or Instagram Reels.

Why short-form?

YouTube is the destination for long-form video, and it’s a highly competitive and highly lucrative landscape.  Money spent on YouTube already supersedes spending on any other platform, and with users clocking an average of 38 hours per months viewing its content – so why the pivot to short-form video?

In essence, Shorts is YouTube’s answer to the growth of TikTok, Instagram Reels and Snapchat Spotlight.  The short-form video market is big business, and YouTube wants its slice of the pie.  According to recent data from Tubular Labs, videos of around 60 seconds in duration attract the most views.

But I don’t believe it’s just about monetisation of eyeballs (although this is obviously important for publishers, and YouTube is actively working on monetisation features including integrated shopping).  I believe it’s also a value play, and YouTube maintaining its position as the number one destination for creators and audiences alike – which is great news for publishers.

Long-form and short-form – an ecosystem of content

User-generated video is a playground of creativity that should not be limited in any way - providing both long-form and short-form offerings is therefore a smart move by YouTube.  If publishers have an established long-form video audience, they can now offer new short-form video experiences. Likewise, publishers embarking on a video strategy can build audiences quickly with Shorts and then drive-up subscriptions for long-form offerings.

The key thing is that users can seamlessly switch between long-form and Shorts.  This is what audiences want, and it is what publishers need.

It’s about building an ecosystem of content that’s responsive to the non-linear nature of the audience journey. Audiences want to be entertained, but they also seek to understand, and demand greater context. By combining long-form and short-form content within one platform publishers can provide users with what they are craving at any given moment in time, with content that’s hyper-relevant to their lives.  

Get the most out of your YouTube Video Strategy with Newsflare

The wealth of user-generated video on the Newsflare platform, in combination with the audience and attention-grabbing power of YouTube, is an immense opportunity for publishers.

Newsflare offers the vast array of content publishers need to support content curation for both YouTube Shorts and long-form channels.  Whether it's eyewitness accounts of breaking news stories, compelling compilations, or the latest viral, we’ve got you covered.

Get Shorty…and get in touch with Newsflare to explore using our video content today.

Daniel Threlkeld

Daniel Threlkeld