YouTube Short creators win big with these new updates

YouTube adds new features to enhance short-form video sharing on its app.
Written by Sabrina Ortiz, Editor
YouTube Shorts logo on a phone in front of a blurred background
Image: Getty Images/SOPA Images

YouTube added short-form video to its platform in 2020 after seeing TikTok's success. Since then, YouTube has continued to think of new ways to compete for short-form video views. This week, YouTube announced changes to its platform that will incentivize creators to make more Shorts on the app. 

Last September, YouTube announced that content creators would be able to monetize their Shorts content through the temporary Shorts fund, which would eventually be replaced by the YouTube Partner Program (YPP). That time has come, and the YouTube Shorts Fund is now a thing of the past. Starting Tuesday, Shorts are now included in the YPP, which will enable channels to earn money for ads that play between the Shorts feed. 

In order to take advantage of those changes, creators will have to sign a new YPP contract by July 10. Once the new contract is signed, creators will have access to the new revenue stream as early as Feb. 23. If the contract is signed after that date, the new revenue stream begins the day you accept. 

Also: TikTok now supports horizontal, YouTube-style, full-screen videos on the app 

New creators not previously in the YPP are also now eligible, as long as they have 1,000 subscribers and 10 million eligible Shorts views in the past 90 days. 

A highly requested update also came to the uploading process. Creators will now be able to select a thumbnail for Shorts by selecting a frame of the video to act as the cover of the Short. Before this update, YouTube would randomly pick a still from the video, leading to some awkward or misleading shots as covers. This thumbnail selecting feature will be available only on Android, but YouTube is working on bringing it to iOS. 

YouTube also enhanced its analytics to make it easier for creators to understand the results of the content they post. In the studio analytics content tab, creators will see a new card that gives a breakdown of subscribers gained by content type. Before this update, only views per content type were available. 

Creators will also have access to data on what content their audience is watching by content type on studio mobile. Lastly, content length will be available in YouTube Analytics Advanced Mode, which typically only shows video titles. These advanced analytics will help creators understand where their reach is coming from and how to adjust accordingly. 

YouTube is also experimenting with adding a member recognition shelf to video descriptions on mobile. The shelf would become part of the info card section. However, creators have the ability to disable the shelf.

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