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YouTube Shorts—Ultimate guide and video ideas

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YouTube has launched a new type of short-form video content—YouTube Shorts. This new “Story” format or vertical micro-content is the latest new feature joining its rivals Instagram Reels, TikTok, Snapchat, and Facebook Stories, too. 

YouTube Shorts CC thumbnail

With YouTube being creators' favorite video-sharing platform, let’s explore everything you need to know about YouTube Shorts and the new opportunities they bring to creators. 

  • What are YouTube Shorts?

  • Who should use YouTube Shorts?

  • Why should creators use YouTube Shorts? 

  • Where to use YouTube Shorts?

  • Where do Shorts live on the YouTube app? 

  • Easy YouTube Shorts video ideas 

  • How to create YouTube Shorts

  • FAQs

What are YouTube Shorts?

YouTube Shorts are a vertical video format with micro-content that goes up to 60 seconds in length. Launched in 2020, these types of YouTube videos are meant to be consumed on smartphones as they are shot vertically in a 9:16 aspect ratio and take up the entire screen of most smartphones, offering an immersive viewing experience. YouTube Shorts creation tools are available to everyone globally with the YouTube app. 

What are YouTube Shorts?

Users can also use the newly launched Create button in the YouTube app to make YouTube Shorts.

Who should use YouTube Shorts?

YouTube Shorts is a huge opportunity for creators and businesses, as there’s less saturation when it comes to creating YouTube Shorts compared to regular YouTube videos. Whether you’re a vlogger, family channel, tech expert, beauty guru, gamer, or even a toy reviewer, YouTube Shorts should be used by YouTube creators from all genres.

A YouTube vlogger can curate a series of YouTube Shorts that entice the viewer to click on the channel and subscribe

The Shorts creator tool can also be used by brands and small businesses to market their products by creating small snippets or recycling their long-form videos into YouTube shorts using a free online video editor

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Why should creators use YouTube Shorts?

When a social media platform launches a new feature, it (rather, the algorithm!) wants its creators to use the new feature and popularize it. Essentially, if creators engage with this new feature, there’s a chance your YouTube channel will witness a spike in both profile and video views. This is also the case with new Instagram Reel features.

So, sounds like an easy way to achieve higher reach and increase engagement, right? Yes, it is. 

It’s a great time for a business to revisit its YouTube strategy to include Shorts. This is how popular cooking channel Preppy Kitchen informs his audience about when and what to expect in his YouTube Shorts. 

Businesses that want to market themselves using YouTube Shorts will have to be creative with the new vertical video format though. 

Where to use YouTube Shorts?

YouTube Shorts are easy to consume, effortless to watch and take up a lot less time compared to YouTube video uploads. Making them capable of higher brand awareness as well as community-building. 

YouTube Shorts can be used as pre-rolls to the longer videos on your channel. This increases the channel’s video views as the pre-rolls are usually enticing for viewers to watch more of the original content. 

YouTube Shorts also give creators a chance to recycle old videos in hopes to retain audiences using a different format. If you’re feeling thrifty, you can also repurpose your video across social media platforms such as Instagram Reels, Facebook Stories, or TikTok. Just be sure to change the video's aspect ratio to suit different social media platforms.

Where to use YouTube Shorts?

Where do Shorts live on the YouTube app? 

Not sure where to find YouTube Shorts? The YouTube Shorts tab can be found next to your home tab at the bottom of your phone screen. All you have to do is tap on the Shorts tab, and scroll through the Shorts feed just like TikTok and Instagram Reels. Users can tap on the creator's profile picture/name to view all of their uploaded shorts. 

Where do Shorts live on the YouTube app? 

Easy YouTube Shorts video ideas

Creators and businesses can create YouTube Shorts showcasing absolutely everything. From creating hype for an upcoming event or product launch, album or song sneak peeks, tutorials, or behind-the-scenes snippets, YouTube Shorts give creators endless opportunities. Repurposing content from TikTok is a fast and fun way to reach more potential Shorts viewers and grow your YouTube channel. 

YouTube Shorts can be treated as free ad space for your business and channel. Businesses can use YouTube Shorts to boost sales of a product by creating short and catchy videos as a quick product how-to video. 

Easy YouTube Shorts video ideas

Stuck on ideas? Check out your YouTube competitors and see what they’re posting on YouTube Shorts.

How to create YouTube Shorts

YouTube Shorts must be created by capturing the video vertically instead of horizontally. If you’re not sure how to take vertical videos, check out our blog on how to create amazing vertical videos before you get started. Alternatively, you can convert your horizontal, 16:9 footage to make a YouTube Shorts video using an easy aspect ratio resizer tool. Follow the steps below to upload YouTube Shorts. 

Step 1. Launch your YouTube app

You can create and upload a YouTube Short from your smartphone by opening the YouTube app. 

YouTube Shorts - step 1

Step 2. Create a new YouTube Short

Tap on the + plus button at the bottom of your screen. Create options will appear in a pull-up box. You can choose between Upload a video, Create a Short, and Go Live. Tap on Create a Short. 

YouTube Shorts - step 2

Step 3. Allow access

If you have not created a YouTube Short before, you will need to allow access to your camera and microphone. Tap on ALLOW ACCESS to proceed. 

YouTube Shorts - step 3

Step 4. Record a YouTube Short or upload a pre-recorded vertical video

It’s now time to create your YouTube Short. You can tap on the red record button to start recording your YouTube Short. Alternatively, you can upload a pre-recorded vertical video under the length of 60 seconds by clicking on the small box on the bottom left that will show the clips on your smartphone. 

YouTube Shorts has features that enable you to put a timer and adjust the speed of your clip up to 3x faster and 0.3x slower. The pre-recorded vertical video clips that you upload on YouTube Shorts give you the power to customize your video the way you want to suit your brand’s needs. 

YouTube Shorts - step 4

FAQ 1. How long are YouTube Shorts?

YouTube Shorts must be a maximum of 60 seconds long. 

FAQ 2. TikTok vs YouTube Shorts - which is better?

There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to TikTok vs YouTube Shorts or YouTube Shorts vs Instagram Reels. Creators should be utilizing all video-sharing platforms to engage the most number of viewers possible. If you have a larger following on YouTube than TikTok, then YouTube Shorts will receive better engagement. 

FAQ 3. How to shorten a YouTube video

Repurposing content for YouTube Shorts? Head over to Clipchamp’s free online video editor and easily trim or split your YouTube videos without leaving your browser. Don’t forget to alter your YouTube video aspect ratio to vertical 9:16 from widescreen 16:9. Save your shortened YouTube video directly to your smartphone for easy Shorts uploading. 

FAQ 4. Can I add captions to YouTube Shorts?

Yes. Creators can add captions to YouTube Shorts by creating their pre-made YouTube Short on the Clipchamp iOS app. All you have to do is use our handy auto-captioning tool. 

Create professional-looking YouTube Shorts with Clipchamp

Looking to polish up your YouTube Shorts and make them more engaging? You can also add text, GIFs, transitions, and more fun effects using Clipchamp free video editor

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