Many new social media platforms are rising. For users, that’s good news because it means they will have more options. On the other hand, existing social media platforms do not like that as much. It means they will have to compete with many companies for the attention and time of viewers.
Furthermore, several social media platforms will inevitably overlap in their niches. In cases like that, the competition is tougher.
Tech giants should remain unbothered. What is a small start-up going to do against them? However, one particular platform that exploded during the pandemic has changed things up. That platform is none other than TikTok.
TikTok is centered around short-form videos. It became so successful because of two things. One, people’s attention spans have gone shorter. Two, it is easy to make these videos. You only need your mobile phone.
Now, YouTube is currently the king of video platforms. But if it does not do anything, TikTok may take away the title. And so, the company released YouTube Shorts, its TikTok competitor.
YouTube Shorts is how you’d expect a TikTok clone to be. It’s almost identical. But since Shorts is newer, it does not have all the features that TikTok already has. That’s the case, at least for now, because YouTube is trying to catch up. Recently, it began serving ads on YouTube Shorts.
YouTube Rolls Out Ads in YouTube Shorts Globally
YouTube is known for one thing other than being home to millions of videos. It also has a monetization program, making YouTubing a viable livelihood.
So, it’s not surprising that a platform like this has experimented with ads on YouTube Shorts since last year. If anything, that was expected and has been a long time coming.
In Google’s Marketing Live last May, it announced that it would gradually roll out ads in YouTube Shorts around the world. Video action campaigns and ad campaigns will automatically scale to YouTube Shorts, says the company.
YouTube says the next step is to enable advertisers to connect their product feed with their campaigns. Furthermore, it plans to make the ads shoppable.
If you have been on other social media platforms, you know where YouTube got that idea from. Again, it’s a feature that is now on TikTok.
People come to TikTok not just to watch short-form videos but also to catch up with what’s trending. And trends often involve a specific product. Thus, the platform also became a place where people go to discover new products. And it is effective at generating sales.
According to Fanbytes, 70% of Gen Z use social platforms as a guide for what items to purchase. Also, 1/3 of TikTok users are there to discover new products.
So, the platform is a great marketing tool. Since YouTube Shorts is a TikTok clone, it has the potential to do the same.
TikTok has launched Shoppable ads. These let users view and purchase products without leaving the app. Currently, you can’t do that on YouTube. In order to view a product, you need to use a browser. Shoppable ads will streamline the process. Thus, YouTube plans to add them next.
Does This Mean YouTube Shorts Creators can Monetize Now?
YouTube pays content creators through AdSense. So now that ads are on YouTube Shorts, does that mean creators of short-form videos on the platform can monetize now?
Google Ads vice president and general manager Jerry Dischler talked about the ads rollout in a blog post. He says that it is a key step in developing a long-term monetization solution for YouTube Shorts creators.
However, as a spokesperson confirmed to TechCrunch, there won’t be a direct revenue share from these ads. That may change in the future, though.
The spokesperson said they are actively working on a long-term model for creator monetization in Shorts. And they will be using the learnings from this launch to design that.
Creators and artists on YouTube Shorts must wait a while longer before a monetization program becomes available. But it’s not to say there’s a lack of support for them on the platform while the company develops the payment model.
The spokesperson told TechCrunch they will “continue to reward thousands of creators and artists monthly via the YouTube Shorts Fund.”
The YouTube Shorts Fund is a $100 million fund YouTube released for Shorts last year. Eligible creators can earn from $100 to $10,000 based on engagement in their videos.
How to be eligible? First and foremost, the creator must upload original content. If they re-use videos from other platforms, they will not qualify. It is a move to discourage content creators from re-uploading TikTok videos on Shorts. That’s a trend that Meta also faces. People are re-uploading TikTok videos on Shorts, Reels, and Stories.
Of course, YouTube does not want that since it is trying to beat TikTok. It’s promoting its number one rival. So, to encourage people to stop doing that without telling them directly to stop it, they launched this.
The other requirement is creators must be of a certain age to be eligible. That’s 13 in the US and the age of majority in other countries.
YouTube says that it has paid thousands of creators from the fund already. Furthermore, 40% of these creators weren’t monetizing their content on YouTube before they received their payment.
YouTube says that it is “committed to supporting the next generation of mobile creators with Shorts.” Also, the company says it has more to share in the coming months.
How is Shorts Faring Against TikTok?
When people talk about short-form video content, TikTok is still the number one platform that gets a mention. But YouTube Shorts is creeping up fast. According to YouTube, Shorts is generating 30 billion views per day, and there is still plenty of opportunities to buy real YouTube views from a pie that size. That is four times more than what the product generated last year. It’s a noticeable improvement.
That’s good news for content creators on Shorts. The more attention it gets, the closer it will be to a monetization model that rivals what’s on other platforms like TikTok.