Youtube ShortsSource: Google

What you need to know

  • YouTube says it now has 1.5 billion monthly Shorts viewers.
  • Shorts is the platform's answer to the success of TikTok.
  • The company says that longer-form content remains the best way to engage with viewers.

YouTube has today announced that it has 1.5 billion monthly logged-in listeners for its TikTok rival Shorts.

As reported by TechCrunch:

In an effort to present itself as a viable competitor to the reigning short-form video platform TikTok, YouTube announced today its rival service YouTube Shorts is now being watched by over 1.5 billion logged-in users every month, less than two years after its launch. By comparison, TikTok announced 1 billion monthly users in September 2021.

As the report notes, TikTok is aiming for the same milestone this year, possibly indicating YouTube may have surpassed the short-form sensation.

Tara Walpert Levy, YouTube's Vice President of the Americas said that long-form content "remains the best way for creators to deeply engage and develop long-term relationships with their audiences" but that Shorts offered "an exciting, new way to be a part of a viewer's journey and to introduce themselves and their whole portfolio to new audiences."

YouTube offered some select case studies of proof that combining short and long-form content was key to growth rather than just one or the other:

In one, creator Ian Boggs is said to have grown his channel has 4 billion lifetime views with 73% of them stemming from his Shorts feed. During the pandemic, Boggs leaned into Shorts and gained 5 million subscribers between 2021 and 2022, YouTube said. In another example, creator Rosanna Pansino is said to have more than doubled views on her channel since adopting Shorts, and Shorts is now her top traffic source.

Shorts and platforms like TikTok have rocketed to popularity on devices like the iPhone 13 and Apple's other best iPhones because of their short, snappy, and engaging formats and endless scrolling, combined with algorithms that can serve up more relevant content to most users.

As the report notes, interestingly, TikTok is trying to move in the other direction toward YouTube's longer-form content, and now allows users to create 10-minute vides on the platform. Instagram has also tried to muscle in on TikTok's success with its own Reels feature.

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