YouTube has created a new fund for content creators using the new Shorts video format. YouTube Shorts allows creators to shoot quick videos, which can be up to sixty seconds long. YouTube first discussed plans for the feature back in April of 2020 before officially launching in a beta status in the U.S. this past March, and then opening up to all YouTube users last week.
YouTube Shorts opened the door for YouTube to compete with the service that has seen exponential growth since its launch in 2016, TikTok. Whether YouTube Shorts can give TikTok a run for its money, it does have the advantage of the significant number of people who already use the YouTube app. Even if a small number of the 2.3 billion YouTube users take advantage of the Shorts feature, that’s still a huge user base.
In a blog post, YouTube explained the new Shorts Fund consists of $100 million and will be distributed to users throughout 2021 and 2022. YouTube is offering the fund as a way to reward creators for using Shorts. According to the announcement, YouTube will reach out to creators whose videos have received “the most engagement and views” each month with their share of the fund. YouTube also plans on asking creators for feedback, in order to help improve the user experience. In order to be eligible, Shorts users simply need to post original content using the shorter-video format. While this means the fund isn’t limited to just creators enrolled in the YouTube Partner Program, they will still have to make sure their Shorts adhere to YouTube’s Community Guidelines.
Why YouTube Started A Shorts Fund
The announcement makes it clear that monetization for Shorts is important to the company and the Shorts Fund is simply one of the initial ways YouTube plans to compensate users. Apart from rewarding creators, YouTube has another reason for creating the new Shorts Fund. Simply put, it’s another way to compete with TikTok. Back in 2020, TikTok announced the launch of its own Creator Fund, with creators needing to have a minimum of 100,000 followers and at least 100,000 views on their videos in the past month to be eligible. Like the YouTube Shorts Fund, it aims to offer support to creators by rewarding them for posting original content. By offering similar incentives with even fewer restrictions, YouTube might not only appeal to existing users, but some of those TikTok creators as well.
YouTube Shorts is a recent addition to the short-video sector and it’s still expanding in terms of features and attracting users. Now that YouTube Shorts is offering a creator fund with a financial incentive, it is likely to lead to an increase in participation at the user level. At the very least, work as a way to encourage those that are generating views with their Shorts to continue making more content that might prove equally as popular. If that’s the case, then it might help YouTube Shorts to become a bigger platform for short-form video content and even more of a TikTok competitor.
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