The YouTube Shorts feature was made available in the UK last year.  YouTube’s answer to TikTok and Instagram Reels offers the chance to share and consume short videos in portrait mode. YouTube is putting a lot of money into trying to regain it’s crown as King of Video so it’s a great time to get over there and start producing content whether you are an wannabee influencer, business or professional blogger.

YouTube Shorts and how to create them
Understanding YouTube Shorts

Why You Should Be Posting Video Content In YouTube Shorts

🎬 YouTube is investing in Shorts right now so there is potential for fast growth. They are looking for fun and engaging content and with less competition from established creators so you might find your content gets more views than on other platforms.

🎬 To encourage creators YouTube has created a monetisation programme specifically for Shorts. It doesn’t matter if your YouTube channel is eligible for monetisation or not, you can receive a “bonus payment” from YouTube if your Short videos get lots of view (regardless of subscribers) making it much easier for new creators to get payment. Although it's still not going to make you rich.

🎬 YouTube videos show up in Google search results, and that includes those recorded in the new format. You might find a video that took you less than 1 minute to make shows up on the front page of Google above many of the websites on the same topic.

🎬 The search function on YouTube itself is far better than on the other platforms and both long videos and Shorts show up in the results. 

🎬 It might be easier to get seen with popular audio than on other platforms because if you click on the audio to look at other videos which have used it they show the newest clips first rather than the most popular like TikTok does.

🎬 You can get subscribers really quickly if a Short is popular and these subscribers will count towards making your main YouTube videos eligible for monetisation. To get AD payments from your normal videos your channel needs over 1000 subscribers and over 4000 public watch hours in the last 12 months. 

🎬 Subscribers of your channel wont get a notification when you post a Short so you don’t need to worry about overwhelming them if you start posting lots, but they do appear mixed in with longer content in the “Subscriptions” tab on the app.

I don’t love everything about Shorts though: the algorithm which selects which videos to show you doesn’t seem as sophisticated as TikTok’s and the recording and editing options are more basic than Instagram and TikTok.  If Shorts takes off as YouTube hopes there is bound to be further development so it’s worth creating some video content for it.

How To Get Started With YouTube Shorts

The bitesize YouTube videos should be filmed in portrait and need to be under 60 seconds. If you already had any videos which were under 60 seconds long and portrait prior to the introduction of Shorts they will have been automatically recategorised  and have the Short logo on it. 

The easiest way to add new Short videos is via the Create tab on the app on your phone. You can record video directly or add prerecorded content. YouTube have said you should tag them #shorts in the description but most of the videos you see don’t have this so it isn't necessary.

The ability to import content means you can repurpose videos you have created for Instagram Reels or TikTok. If you don’t have a copy without the watermark on I would recommend removing it, you can do it for free with programmes like SnapTik. It looks better without the logos and having them might impact monetisation which requires “original” content. To create or import a video over 15 seconds your need to tap on the 15 to make it 60 before your try and import or record.

screenshot from Youtube App of where to create a Short video
You can easily create a YouTube Short from within the YouTube app

What is the difference between Shorts and Reels or TikToks?


The default length of a Short is 15 seconds, but you can record up to 60 seconds by tapping where it says 15. Reels currently allow video up to 60 seconds long, but on TikTok videos can be up to 3 minutes. 

Negative Feedback 

The dislike button that’s normally on YouTube videos has carried across into Shorts so you can tap "thumbs down" if you don’t like the video. Receiving this blatant negative feedback requires a thick skin. While TikTok and Instagram allow you to select “Not Interested” or similar you don’t know if people have done this and it’s hidden away so used less.  

Recording Options

You currently have the option of recording with a green screen and normal photographic filters, but not the huge array of fun and silly artificial reality filters that you get on other platforms. The basic recording functions are there though including: using front or back camera, self timer, changing the speed and "align" which is useful for transitions. 


There is a good choice of music available, but it currently looks like you have to use existing audio or your own sound eg your talking. I have the latest version of the IOS app and can’t combine music and talking either by adding audio before or after. I have seen a screen shot of someone who could though, so it might be available to some people. Just like on the other platforms if there is an audio you like on another video you can tap it and record your own video to it.  


When you edit the video you can trim the lengths while in the main recording window, but you can’t reorder clips. You can leave the video mid edit and save the draft, but it doesn't look like you can save multiple drafts at the moment.

A screenshot of the editing screen for YouTube shorts within the YouTube app
In app editing options for YouTube Shorts

Subtitles and Text

I love the auto generated subtitles on Instagram and TikTok to make videos more accessible. There isn’t currently an option for similar on Shorts though. You can add text, reposition it and just include it for part of the video or add subtitles once published via Creator Studio.

Titles and Descriptions for Shorts

Before you publish you can add a title of up to 100 characters. After you publish you can actually add a description, thumbnail and other features like on a normal YouTube video, but these will only be obvious to people viewing your Shorts via your page so possibly not worth the time.

Limiting Your Audience

Before you publish, like normal YouTube videos, you can choose whether to make the video public, private or visible with the link only. You can also choose to select if it is made for kids or not and restrict to over 18s only.


A handy feature for businesses is that you can schedule your video to go live on a future day and time rather than going live straight away. This option is under Visibility on the Add details screen just before you upload the Short.

Using Hashtags on Shorts

You can use hashtags in your video title if you want. The hashtags are clickable and will take you to a screen of other videos using the same hashtag so it can be a great way to find content you are interested in, but with only 100 characters for your whole title choose wisely. 

Monetisation of YouTube Shorts

While many people lost the ability to monetise their YouTube channels when minimum subscriber numbers and viewers were introduced it is theoretically easier to get money from Shorts. You can currently get money from the YouTube Shorts Fund even if your longer YouTube videos aren’t eligible for monetisation. YouTube say their monthly pot will be shared between those creating the most viewed content as long as they are continuing to make videos. So if you have one or two videos go viral, you might discover you get an email letting you know you are eligible for a bonus payment from the Shorts Fund (paid via Adsense).

It will be interesting to see how YouTube Shorts grows, but it’s too good an opportunity to get views on your content right now to ignore.

YouTube Shorts: what they are, how to make them and why you should
Why not save on Pinterest for later?

*Information correct at time of publishing, but as a relatively new feature there will be regular changes*