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  • Writer's pictureJohn T. Williams

Quick Clips, Big Impact: The Rise of YouTube Shorts

Updated: Nov 17, 2023


The impact of YouTube shorts, particularly those clocking in under a minute, have soared in popularity and efficacy on platforms like YouTube and Instagram. Over the past year, I've been predominantly creating short-form videos for my clients by repurposing their existing content into bite-sized videos or crafting fresh, concise content. Here's why:

Short videos quickly capture and retain viewer attention, leading to higher engagement rates compared to longer videos. According to a study by HubSpot, videos under 90 seconds retain an average of 53% of the viewers, while videos over 30 minutes retain only 10%.

The shorter video format also aligns with the decreasing attention span of online audiences. A Microsoft study suggested that the average attention span dropped from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds in 2015, making quick, engaging content like shorts more appealing. YouTube's recommendation algorithms have been observed to favor shorts, especially for mobile users, leading to increased visibility and traction for businesses.

According to YouTube's official data, the YouTube Shorts player receives more than 3.5 billion daily views globally, highlighting its vast reach and popularity. With the majority of YouTube's over 2 billion logged-in monthly users accessing the platform via mobile, the bite-sized format of shorts is perfectly tailored for mobile consumption.

YouTube's foray into shorts is a strategic move to compete with the success of TikTok's short-form video content. TikTok's explosive growth, with over 2 billion global downloads, underscores the popularity and potential of short video formats. Short-form videos can be produced quickly and often at a lower cost than long-form content, allowing businesses to produce more content and iterate based on feedback. According to Animoto, 92% of marketers make videos with assets they already have.

A study by Wistia found that shorter videos are shared 18% more often than longer ones. Due to their concise nature, short videos are more likely to be shared on social media, increasing the potential for virality. While long-form videos have their place, especially for in-depth content, tutorials, and webinars, short-form videos offer businesses a cost-effective way to reach and engage their audience, optimize for mobile viewing, and leverage platform algorithms for greater visibility.

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