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Each month, 1.5 billion users engage with YouTube Shorts content.

It’s incredible to consider TikTok’s impact on the social media landscape and media consumption patterns in general – not just on TikTok, but also through the myriad short-form video offers now available in other apps.

For example, YouTube today released new data on the growing popularity of YouTube Shorts, its own TikTok clone, which was created to blur the line between the two apps and prevent YouTube viewers from flocking to the trending site.

According to YouTube:

“Every month, almost 1.5 billion logged-in people watch YouTube Shorts,” says the company.

That’s a lot of money, especially when you consider YouTube’s total monthly ‘logged in’ viewership is 2 billion people.

That suggests that over 75% of YouTube viewers are interacting with Shorts in some way, which is a strong vote of confidence in YouTube’s defensive strategy against expanding TikTok competition. You may condemn platform replication all you want, but the truth is that it works, which is why every platform today appears to pounce on every major trend in the sector.

(Note: Some estimates put the number of monthly active users on YouTube at about 2.6 billion, including those who aren’t logged in, but YouTube hasn’t acknowledged this.)

Shorts’ growing popularity has been bolstered by a new survey by Inmar Intelligence, which found that 70% of web users now view short-form videos on a regular basis.

TikTok’s influence continues to be astounding, with the platform catching up on a trend started by Vine and amplifying it for a new generation.

So, why didn’t Vine have the same success?

Part of it is the platform, with TikTok’s sophisticated algorithms getting better at delivering you more of the stuff you like based on your viewing patterns. Because TikTok’s technology is so effective at changing on the fly, you might easily squander hours browsing through your ‘For You’ feed.

While Vine had a cult following, significantly more individuals have already modified their media engagement patterns, with short-form video now becoming the optimal format for shortened attention spans.

That is most likely not a good thing. I’ve found that watching too much TikTok might make you impatient when watching longer-form stuff, such as TV series and movies.

For me, this turned me off the app to some extent because I couldn’t enjoy movies in the same manner – yet this is how the new generation prefers their media inputs, with faster-paced clips and morsels feeding into their more attuned perception and engagement.

That emphasizes the importance of replication in this regard, because ignoring this trend for a video platform is just not an option, because your consumers are developing in some way. You may either accept it or watch as they move on to greener pastures, lowering your engagement stats in the process.

Those who are leaning in are reaping the rewards, with YouTube revealing that producers who upload both short and long-form material now have higher overall watch time and subscriber growth than those who just submit long-form footage.

The numbers don’t lie, and all content creators and marketers should take note of these patterns, which represent a big and long-term move toward short-form video content.

Again, the fact that our collective attention spans are being reduced in this way may not be a good thing. They are, however, and you must account for this in your preparation in order to maximize the effectiveness of your efforts.

Whether you like it or not, YouTube shorts have become a key part of the app. Ignore it at your own peril in terms of promotion.

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