Are you looking to utilize YouTube’s new Shorts video option in 2021?
The platform’s TikTok-esque ‘Shorts’ video feed is still in the process of being fully rolled out, with only users in India currently able to access the full Shorts functionality, including the Shorts Camera upload option. But all users are able to upload Shorts clips right now, by sharing short vertical videos (up to 60 seconds in length) and including #Shorts within the title or description.
That could be another way to boost your distribution and reach on the platform, by getting your videos into the dedicated Shorts feed, which is now appearing for most users within the YouTube app.
And as you can see here, some of these Short clips are clearly getting some big view counts.
But with Shorts clips being so… well, short, how are their views counted, and how does that then impact your overall channel analytics?
YouTube has provided some specific insight on this in a new Creator Insider video, which outlines how Shorts views are measured, and what creators need to note within the new process.
First off, on Shorts view counts – YouTube says that Shorts views are included within your regular view count data in your analytics:
They are counted the same say for Shorts as for regular videos, so they also contribute to your channel-level view count and don't get filtered out in any way.
You can see how many views you get from Shorts in the ‘Traffic Source Type’ card on the ‘Reach’ panel within the ‘Analytics’ tab of YouTube Studio:
YouTube notes that these specific Shorts views are from viewers who’ve swiped up to your video within the Shorts player, while those who’ve clicked on your Shorts clips from the Home tab would not be counted in the specific Shorts views data.
In terms of how Shorts views will impact your other stats, YouTube says that people could see shifts in their data, relative to how active they are with their Shorts clips, but that it shouldn’t cause any performance issues.
If you do have a lot of Shorts, your average view duration could go down because, of course, the videos are shorter. This shouldn't hurt your channel performance in any way, it's just, kind of, an attribute of the video. Same thing for click through rate - because most people will swipe to your video rather than click on it based on a thumbnail, that metric might also change, but again, it shouldn't really impact your performance
YouTube also notes that it’s currently filtering Shorts views out from its revenue per mille (RPM) stats because Shorts views are not monetized, and leaving them in could be confusing for channel owners.
As noted, YouTube is still in the process of expanding the availability of Shorts to more regions, and as it does, it will become a bigger consideration for creators, and brands, across the platform. The insights here point to that next stage, in getting creators prepared for the next expansion of the option – which could be worth noting in your YouTube planning.