It’s not just Meta that’s leaning into short-form video, with YouTube also looking to encourage more short clips via a new option that will enable creators to convert segments of their existing long-form content into minute-long Shorts variations.
As you can see in this sequence, the new ‘Edit into a Short’ option will enable you to select a section of your regular video uploads to then cut into a bite-sized version.
That could make it much easier for a lot more YouTube creators to integrate Shorts into their process – and with 1.5 billion YouTube users now engaging with Shorts every month, it makes a lot of sense to do so, in order to build brand awareness and reach.
The Shorts conversion process will include all the regular Shorts editing tools, including text, timeline editor, filters, etc. You’ll also be able to add new video segments to your converted clips, or even include sections from your other videos to make up the 60 seconds.
Any Shorts that you do create via this process will also link back to the original long-form video/s, so that viewers can easily connect to the full content – which also happens if users create clips of a video using the ‘Cut’ option in the app.
That’s a key element in YouTube’s appeal over TikTok, in that YouTube already has a solid monetization framework in place for long-form content, while short clips are much harder to generate direct revenue from, as you can’t insert pre or mid-roll ads. As such, being able to drive traffic to your longer clips could eventually end up being a big winner for YouTube in the creator stakes.
TikTok creators are already unhappy with its Creator Fund, and the lack of lucrative revenue options. Driving more traffic back to your main content feed adds another community-building aspect to a broader YouTube monetization approach.
“Importantly, only you as the original creator will be able to import your long-form videos into Shorts as this tool is not available for other creators to use on your content.”
It’s a smart update, especially, as noted, given the rise of Shorts consumption, and broader user trends towards short-form video. And while Shorts is a copy of TikTok, the fact of the matter is that this is what users are currently engaging with, and if that’s what people want, and YouTube has it, why shouldn’t it look to capitalize on such, instead of ceding market share to the challenger app?
Building your YouTube channel is more valuable, more directly monetizable, and more scalable than building an audience on TikTok. You don’t get the ‘For You’ feed, but there are big benefits for creators in shifting to YouTube instead.
That’s not a major deal right now, given TikTok’s trending status. But as more big-name TikTok stars move into that next stage, where being a full-time creator becomes an actual, viable option, YouTube may well be the beneficiary, while TikTok works to keep them coming back.
The new Shorts editing option is rolling out now on iOS and Android devices.