YouTube Celebrates With New Shorts Tools 📺

YouTube announces new creator tools for Shorts as it hits 2 billion monthly users

Today’s Edition

  • YouTube celebrates its latest Shorts milestone with new creator tools

  • Meta is set to launch AI-powered chatbots next month

  • Roblox creators are on pace to make over $800 million this year

YouTube Reveals New Creator Tools for Shorts

YouTube

YouTube revealed Shorts are being watched by over 2 billion logged-in users monthly, an increase from last year's 1.5 billion users. To celebrate the milestone, it announced new creator tools, some of which are available now and others to be released soon:

  • Collab: Creators can create Shorts in a side-by-side format with other long-form videos or Shorts. This allows creators to remix content and provide their unique take, response, or reaction to existing videos, fostering collaboration within the creator community.

  • Live Videos in the Shorts Feed: Creators can go live from mobile devices in vertical format, and a preview of their live stream will appear in the Shorts feed. Viewers can watch a live stream by clicking a "Watch Live" button on them. They can also scroll through a feed of other live videos. This helps creators, giving them more discovery opportunities, and has the potential to attract streamers from other platforms like TikTok and Twitch, where discoverability has been a challenge.

  • Recomposition Tools: Creators can easily turn their horizontal videos into Shorts using tools that enable them to adjust the layout, zoom, and crop video segments. This native tool saves creators time and effort, offering a convenient way to transform videos into snackable clips without the use of third-party apps.

  • Suggestions: When creators select "Use Sound" while remixing a Short, this feature bundles the audio and effect, including the same audio time stamp and effect from the Short they’re watching. This simplifies the process for creators to jump into trends, similar to Instagram's recently upgraded Templates.

  • Stickers: As part of new stickers and effects, creators will soon be able to use a Q&A sticker to ask their viewers questions, with responses displayed in the comments. Q&A features have been a popular component of short-form video, providing an easy way for audience engagement and interaction, and a feedback loop between creators and their fans.

  • Shorts Playlists: Users have the option to save Shorts to playlists, just like long-form videos and podcasts. This gives creators the ability to curate Shorts and easily reference them at a later point for viewing or remixing.

Why it matters: Since its official launch just over two years ago, Shorts has become a formidable competitor to TikTok. With these new tools, YouTube provides creators functionalities similar to TikTok, such as live stream discovery and Duets-like capabilities. YouTube isn't the only one providing strong competition to TikTok, though. Meta is also doing well, boasting 200 billion daily views on Reels across Facebook and Instagram.

Ultimately, the battle for short-form video supremacy may not matter to most people except for shareholders and those closely associated with the companies. However, this competition benefits us all, whether we are everyday users, creators, or marketers, as it offers greater choices in short-form video experiences. As the experiences become more similar in functionality and appearance, the culture and trends that exist (or don't exist) on them will be the differentiators.

News, Insights & Trends

Meta to Release AI-Powered Chatbots with Different Personas

According to the Financial Times, Meta plans to release AI-powered chatbots in September. These chatbots will have different personas and be able to converse with users on Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp in a human-like manner. Users will be able to use the chatbots to search for content and receive recommendations.

Why it matters: Chatbots are gradually making their way to social media. Snapchat was the first to introduce chatbots with My AI, which is being used by more than 150 million people. TikTok is testing a chatbot named Tako in the Philippines to serve users with recommended videos. More recently, LinkedIn has developed a chatbot to help users apply for jobs, learn new skills, and connect with their network.

Meta's chatbots could offer several benefits, such as connecting users with more content, answering their questions, and providing Meta with another surface to run ads. However, this could also mean that Meta would have access to even more data on its users, which could cause concern.

Instagram Developing Labels to Disclose AI-Generated Content

Instagram is currently developing labels to disclose AI-generated content, as discovered by developer Alessandro Paluzzi. Labels will be displayed on content that was created or modified with AI, such as AI tools that generate text, images, and videos from text descriptions.

Why it matters: Many creators are utilizing AI to produce content, and it's getting increasingly hard to distinguish due to the rapid progress of these tools. As a result, disclosure tools are becoming crucial to ensure transparency. A few months ago, reports emerged about TikTok developing a similar tool, along with its updated guidelines on AI content.

In the future, expect to see most platforms eventually implement tools for disclosing AI-generated content. These will be similar to those that already exist for ads and branded content. I also anticipate that there will be ways for users to filter AI-generated content versus content produced entirely by humans. The reason? An influx of AI content in the next few years is likely to make more people gravitate toward content created by humans that they deem more trustworthy.

YouTube Tests AI-Generated Video Summaries

YouTube is currently experimenting with AI-generated video summaries. These are intended to provide viewers with a brief overview of what videos are about, but they won't replace the video descriptions that creators provide themselves. The summaries are set to appear on the Watch and Search pages, with testing primarily conducted on mobile devices. Currently, this is being tested on a limited number of English-language vlogs, shopping, and how-to videos.

Why it matters: AI-generated summaries could be an effective tool to help viewers decide which videos to watch. However, the success of this feature hinges on the accuracy of these summaries. If the summaries are misleading or inaccurate, they could deter viewers from watching videos they might have found interesting. Therefore, it's important for YouTube to incorporate a way for viewers to provide feedback to help make improvements where necessary.

Snapchat Incentivizes AR Creators with New Lens Creator Rewards Program

Snapchat announced the Lens Creator Rewards program to compensate Lens creators and developers who develop top-performing AR effects. The program is currently in beta in nearly 40 countries. Creators can earn up to $7,200 USD per month based on the total number of engagements their Lenses receive in the US, India, and Mexico.

Why it matters: This initiative mirrors TikTok's Effect Creator Rewards Program, which likewise encourages and rewards creators to design high-performing AR effects. With around 300,000 AR creators and developers, more than 3 million Lenses, and over 5 trillion views on Lenses, Snapchat already has a thriving community that will grow even larger thanks to the new incentive. Creators are now presented with more opportunities to monetize their AR creations, not only through Snapchat and TikTok but also by collaborating with brands.

Roblox Creators Projected to Earn Over $800 Million in 2023

In 2022, Roblox creators earned $624 million. Top-earning creators pulled in an average of $23 million, with almost all of the top 500 raking in a minimum of $140,000. In the first quarter of this year, creators earned an additional $182 million and are projected to earn over $800 million by the end of the year.

Currently, creators can monetize their work through virtual goods, Limiteds, experiences, engagement-based payouts, and immersive ads. Roblox is looking to broaden these earning avenues by introducing new item types such as bodies and heads, subscriptions for consistent revenue, and the ability to sell real-world goods within experiences. Additionally, Roblox is developing in-app experience creation tools to make the platform more accessible to those without prior knowledge of 3D content creation software.

Why it matters: With its growing monetization options and streamlined creation process, Roblox is poised for another robust year. It predicts creator earnings to hit the $800 million mark in 2023, despite the dip in metaverse and NFT hype. Its recent app launch on Meta's Quest VR headsets also indicates a potential expansion of its user base.

Sephora to Amplify Underrepresented, Diverse, and Emerging Artists Through Sephora Sounds

Sephora has launched Sephora Sounds, a program that supports and amplifies underrepresented, diverse, and emerging artists. The program features over 55 artists, whose music will be featured in Sephora's brand and social media campaigns. Participating artists receive compensation and increased visibility. Early results from the program's soft launch are promising, with artists featured in current or past campaigns seeing a 30,000 increase in monthly Spotify listeners

Why it matters: Music is key to social media, especially on platforms like TikTok. As reported by TikTok, almost all users (93%) watch videos with sound, and most (68%) say they remember a brand's message better if it's tied to a song they like. However, brands often face difficulties in finding the right music due to licensing agreements. They usually have to stick to royalty-free music or go through a long, expensive process to license music themselves.

Sephora's new program tackles these issues by setting up an ambassador program for artists, who will be able to create custom-made music for its campaigns. This helps Sephora make its campaigns more effective and also helps them with 'sonic branding', a popular new way for brands to connect with their customers through sound. Artists who take part in the program can make money and reach a bigger audience when their music is used in campaigns. Because it helps both Sephora and the artists, expect to see more brands start similar programs, especially if they're already investing a lot in influencer marketing on TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts.

Boston University Launches a Creator Program to Highlight the Student Experience

Boston University recently launched the Terrier Creator Program, enabling students to create original content for the university's Instagram and TikTok accounts. Selected creators will showcase various aspects of the BU experience, including student life, research, dining, and the classroom, and they will be compensated on a video basis. Dave McDonald, an Associate Director of Social Media at BU, shared the program's origin in a LinkedIn post.

Why it matters: The program highlights higher education's embrace of the creator economy and adaptability to students' evolving career aspirations. Collaborating with student creators strengthens BU's recruitment efforts by providing an authentic glimpse into campus life from those experiencing it firsthand. Social media has become an integral part of students' research process when choosing their colleges, allowing BU to connect with them in their preferred format. For students, it's an opportunity to leverage content creation skills, earn money, and gain hands-on experience with an established institution, whether aspiring to be full-time creators, in-house creators at a brand or agency, or pursuing traditional creative roles.

What I’m Reading and Listening To

  • Move fast and beat Musk: The inside story of how Meta built Threads (Washington Post)

  • TikTok, YouTube influencers pressured by brands to buy insurance (Bloomberg Law)

  • Top 5 products Amazon influencers sold during Prime Day (Business Insider)

  • Parenting influencers try something new: Giving their kids privacy (Washington Post)

  • 20VC: Instagram CEO, Adam Mosseri (20VC)

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