The growth of short-form video platforms has been massive, thanks to the popularity of platforms including TikTok, Reels and of course YouTube Shorts. Google has today celebrated a year of being in Australia, sharing updates on the platform’s current state and sharing insights into where it’s going.

Since it’s launch two years ago, YouTube Shorts has grown significantly, with more than 1.5B monthly logged-in users globally who consume more than 30 billion daily views, a growth of four times over this time last year. 

Since their launch in Australia last year, Australian YouTube creators have embraced the opportunities presented by Shorts, with long term creators including How Ridiculous recently reaching the 10million subscriber milestone. Newer creators too have emerged like Saksham Magic, who gained 1 million subscribers in just one month and now boasts more than 4.5M subscribers and millions of views. 

Part of the growth has been thanks to the $100 million YouTube Shorts Creator fund, established by Google last year, paying creators anywhere from $100 to $10,000 based on viewership and engagement on their Shorts over the course of 2021-2022. 

While the platform has done well, there’s more to come with new features spurring growth, features such as Cut, which lets creators grab 1-5 second snippets from any eligible Video-On-Demand service, and Green Screen (iOS currently, but coming to Android soon) which lets creators use up to 60 second clips from VOD services as their background. 

Locally, YouTube is keen to add more features and more support in Australia, with Google planning to expand the YouTube Shorts Community Partner program to Australia later in the year. This program includes information on YouTube Shorts Best Practices, new features, and topical tips, as well as invites to exclusive in-person and digital events and much more. 

Globally, YouTube is also planning on expanding the content of Shorts with a focus on bringing new trends and challenges, similar to the #JavRun challenge in India and #SambilanCuan (Side-hustle) in Indonesia. These will be curated and monitored for any averse or dangerous content, with YouTube’s comprehensive community guidelines in place that have been keeping the platform in check.

Of course the elephant in the room is TikTok and it’s ever growing popularity. YouTube is definitely aware of the juggernaut, but believes the YouTube platform itself is one of its biggest strengths, with an audience that has embraced the new multi-format content being created across long and short-form videos as well as Live and Audio content. 

There’s a growing number of creators, all keen to cash in on the short-form video trend and YouTube is looking to apply their ad-generation to the platform with trials of ads now running. Though nothing was shared on how far this would extend. 

There’s a lot to love about all these short-form video platforms and the creative videos being created. I was happy to learn that my personal Shorts bug-bear: not being able to add Shorts to your cast queue is also being looked at, so hopefully that, and a lot more awesome features won’t be too far away.