With the prevalence of Vine and TikTok, short-form video content has managed to capture the hearts and minds of many influencers. The younger generations, namely Gen Z and Millenials, have created a plethora of content, all of which is under a minute. YouTube has finally jumped on this trend, creating its very own YouTube Shorts. But how has this platform benefitted popular creators on YouTube Shorts and will the success last?
A Brief History of YouTube
YouTube has always been a centralized hub for video content since the platform launched in 2005. Not to mention, YouTube has always welcomed a variety of short-form video content, seen as the first video that was posted on the platform was an 18-second clip titled, ‘Me at the Zoo’. Over 17 years, this video has earned over 220 million views.
A wide variety of successful and contemporary influencers first began their career on YouTube, posting all different types of content. That being said, as social media began to blossom and expand into new forms, YouTube was seen to be put on the sidelines. A large selection of creators then made the switch over to more expansive platforms, such as Instagram and TikTok, helping them to create shorter video content and still earn the same amount of views.
Despite the growing amount of competition that surrounds YouTube, we must not discredit its power on the latest generation of influencers. As of 2021, there were more than 2 billion active users on the platform. This goes to show that YouTube is a platform that can still provide a large amount of stability and revenue to influencers around the world.
What is YouTube Shorts?
In September 2020, Chris Jaffe, the VP of Product Management at YouTube, announced the launch of a new ‘short-form video experience’, called YouTube Shorts. This concept was first rolled out in India, where it managed to gain an incredible amount of traction and showed promising results from the start. YouTube Shorts allows influencers to produce short-form video content using a smartphone camera, making it accessible for all creators.
YouTube officials aimed to create a new platform that would increase engagement and revenue streams, allowing smaller influencers to gain more views and followers. After the success in India, YouTube Shorts launched in the US in May 2021, again earning a similar amount of praise. This new platform was then implemented onto the YouTube homepage, making it easier for viewers to catch up with their favorite influencers’ Shorts.
How does YouTube Shorts work?
YouTube Shorts does a spectacular job of combining convenience with state-of-the-art video capabilities. Each video is no longer than 15 seconds long, giving an entertaining snapshot of an influencer’s larger content. The platform uses a multi-segment camera, which in turn, helps the creator place multiple pieces of short-form video content into an assigned order. Adding on to this, Shorts allows users to access a plethora of music options, all from YouTube’s own music library. This helps influencers to create more professional and interactive videos on a much smaller scale. Finally, the platform uses a timer to ensure influencers can record swiftly without any mishaps.
As soon as the video is posted, viewers can comment and share the Short, just like on any other social media platform. Many people believe that YouTube Shorts has merely mimicked the nuances of TikTok, making short-form video content more mainstream. However, others argue that this is one of YouTube’s most successful developments and allows for a healthy amount of competition in the influencer sphere.
Popular Influencers on YouTube Shorts
In the summer of 2021, YouTube confirmed that Shorts was ‘generating over 15 billion global daily views.’ To put this in perspective, research suggests that ‘More than 1 billion videos get viewed each day on TikTok.’ Shorts’ incredible success has grown a new generation of short-form video influencers, giving them an entirely new and profitable platform to show off their skills. Described below are just five of the most popular influencers on YouTube Shorts.
Shanice Cole, who is better known as DankScole, has been creating content on YouTube for around 3 years. She is best known for her hilarious pranks and mesmerizing music videos. Cole is also active on a variety of other platforms, where she has 224,000 followers on Instagram and an additional 6.2 million followers on TikTok. Youtube Shorts has enabled this funny and relatable influencer to create short-form video content in a quick fashion, causing her to earn an additional 1 million followers in just a year. DankScole has been creating Shorts almost every day for a year with each video averaging around 30,000 views.
Although this notorious mukbanger has divided the internet throughout his career, Nickacado uses YouTube Shorts to his own advantage. This influencer posts content every day across his four channels and has even created a separate channel just for his Shorts, called Nickacado Shorts. During his prevalent career, Nick has created various catchphrases so he uses Shorts to create funny skits and makes use of the phrases. He even posts humorous Shorts of him arguing endlessly with his Amazon Alexa. Amassing 193,000 followers with just 40 shorts, there is no doubt that this new feature brings success to even the most popular influencers.
Modern magicians have always used YouTube to show off their wondrous tricks and sleight of hand, and YouTube Shorts offers the same opportunity. SeanDoesMagic presents his array of magic tricks to his 4.35 million subscribers, making him one of the most popular magicians on the platform. Shorts allows him to present new tricks with speed, creating some mind-blowing results like being able to solve a Rubik’s Cube instantly. Moreover, this new platform allows this influencer to post content in a more consistent fashion, again helping to establish him as a popular creator on the platform.
Zhongi Zhu, also known as Zhong, is a 21-year-old influencer of Russian and Chinese descent. This influencer was voted The Top YouTube Shorts Creator of 2021, allowing each video to average around 200,000 to a million views each. Zhong is very popular among younger audiences, due to his comedic charm and array of videos where he plays games with his friends. These games include the Yes or No Challenge and the Ping Pong Cup Challenge. Shorts has allowed this influencer to create simple, yet engaging content on a widespread scale.
Lucy Edwards is best known for her TikToks where she answers questions about how blind people complete everyday tasks. With 581,000 subscribers on YouTube and 1.7 million followers on TikTok, it was no surprise that Lucy Edwards would have an incredible amount of success on YouTube Shorts. This influencer works hard to be a prosperous disability advocate and has managed to remove a lot of stigma around blindness. Her Shorts show how she uses various disability aids such as a braille keyboard and magnetic Penfriend labels that help her to read the labels on jars. Edwards also just made her big break by being the face of Pantene in an advert for UK audiences.
Popular creators on YouTube Shorts praise the platform’s ability to create short-form video content that has the same amount of reach as its longer counterparts. As this type of content becomes more widespread, it seems it is only a matter of time until all social media platforms adopt the same approach. To discover more about short-form video content, visit our website.