YouTube released a new video this week to answer producers’ queries about YouTube Shorts. It answered questions like how Shorts’ algorithm differs from long-form YouTube, what counts as a view, and other best practices for creators who wish to maximize their potential on Shorts.
YouTube didn’t share its algorithm details like TikTok and Instagram, but it did release some high-level information to help Shorts makers.
Todd Sherman, Shorts’ product lead, says the Shorts algorithm differs from the long-form algorithm because customers touch on videos to watch, making a precise choice that drives additional recommendations. But on Shorts, consumers swipe through information without knowing what’s next. Both recommendation systems show films people will like, but the Shorts feed prioritizes a more diversified feed because consumers flip through hundreds of videos vs. 10 or 20 in long-form.
Sherman also mentioned that Shorts does not count every flip as a view, unlike other platforms that count the first frame. TikTok counts views when a video starts playing, it’s said. However, short views are meant to indicate that the user intended to watch, so artists have a “meaningful threshold” that someone watched.
The corporation doesn’t reveal its view threshold since it changes it and doesn’t want others to game it.
Sherman also advised producers to consider how long they need to deliver their tale rather than a specific length to get their videos watched. He also underlined that Shorts will focus on 60-second videos to avoid confusion with YouTube. However, this contrasts with TikTok, which has been testing longer uploads after popularizing short-form.
The product lead also revealed that YouTube doesn’t want Shorts creators to make personalised thumbnails like they do on YouTube because most thumbnails are never seen. The Shorts video shelf with thumbnails is only an entry point; once you’re swiping through, you won’t see the other videos’ thumbnails. He also advised creators to utilize hashtags because they are valuable and important, but it’s hard to generalize.
Except for news publishers who value freshness, publishing time of day is not important. The number of Shorts published does not affect traction; quality is more important.
Sherman also described why Shorts might take off and then plummet in views, causing artists to feel “stuck.”
“Parts of the algorithm try to find people, find creators, and find an audience,” Sherman said. “Sometimes those algorithms will find a seed audience that may like your video. He said it may get more traffic or taper down, depending on how that happens.
He also advised against deleting and uploading shorts because it’s spam.
The firm doesn’t see Shorts as cannibalizing long-form, but it wants to let creators link Shorts to long-form videos by September. It recently disabled links in other Shorts experiences to prevent spam.
In other YouTube channels, the firm will try a new feature that bundles many uploads on a shelf. Users can browse the channel without affecting other videos in the subscription feed.