YouTube Shorts Are Coming Up Big For Alphabet
Tech companies are in a battle to win within the short-form video category. Found on apps like TikTok and Meta Platform’s (META) Instagram, shorter videos are becoming social media’s most-watched type of content.
Alphabet’s (GOOGL) Google is new to the short video game, having launched YouTube Shorts less than two years ago. Now 1.5 billion people watch Shorts each month. That rivals TikTok’s numbers and highlights the increasing competition within the space. It’s also a massively important pursuit for Alphabet, given YouTube is a major pillar of the company, generating $28 billion in advertising last year.
YouTube Shorts first launched in India in late 2020. The videos can be up to 60 seconds long. Company executives say they offer creators the opportunity to achieve fame, fortune, and creative expression.
Some industry observers have a different take. They describe YouTube Shorts as a defensive product given the growth of TikTok, which rose to prominence while offering short form videos. In September TikTok said it had more than 1 billion monthly active users. Some other estimates think that number has risen to 1.6 billion as of the end of March. Alphabet’s latest data suggests YouTube Shorts have an audience that’s similar in size to TikTok and Douyin, its Chinese counterpart.
The Short on Shorts
Google says it plans to include Shorts in YouTube advertising plans. Companies will eventually be able to make their ads “shoppable” as well.
Some creators say engagement on Shorts is higher than with long-form videos. Cooking celebrity Rosanna Pansino has 13.4 million subscribers on YouTube and describes Shorts as her top source for new viewers. Social media is all about grabbing and holding people’s attention, and keeping things short and sweet may be the ticket.
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