YouTube is working on the next iteration of Shorts, its TikTok-like short video feed, with a new icon for the function now being tested in the Android app.
You can see the new Shorts icon beneath the main YouTube logo, alongside the categories listing for Shorts clips.
The icon was spotted in testing by Android researcher @WFBrother (and shared by Matt Navarra), and could point to the next stage for the function, which may also be part of a broader roll-out of the platform's short video feed.
YouTube officially announced the launch of Shorts in India late last month, where it's looking to fill the gap left by the removal of TikTok in the region.
As you can see here, where the option is available, Shorts clips are made discoverable on the front page of the YouTube app, via what YouTube's calling the 'Shorts Shelf', a side-scrolling display of clips in the main feed. Indian creators also have access to the Shorts Camera, via the + icon on the bottom bar, which includes additional quick editing functions like speed controls, timers, and options to add music to your clips.
But even if you're not in India, and you're not able to access the dedicated Shorts Camera function, you can still have your content featured within the Shorts row in the app - while YouTube's also testing a new section in other regions which will highlight "videos created from the Shorts camera, as well as any vertical video up to 60 seconds" that's been uploaded to the platform.
As explained by YouTube:
"You can still make your video eligible for the Shorts shelf and feed, all you need to do is make sure that it's 60 seconds or under, and shot in the vertical format."
YouTube's Creator Insider channel has also provided some additional tips on how creators can maximize their Shorts, which could help boost exposure for their content.
- Adding the hashtag #Shorts to the title of your short video clips will increase your chances of appearing on the Shorts shelf
- Creators should keep their short clips "highly visual and highly accessible". Because people who see your Shorts might not be channel subscribers, creators should also avoid using any inside jokes, while you also shouldn't spend too much time on 'creating memes or titles, just make sure that you're getting your message out there, keep it short and keep it sweet.'
- YouTube also notes that your shorts video clip will also be available as standard YouTube videos as well, so creators need to consider whether the content fits into their regular programming schedule, and where it might fit into your broader channel content
There's no word yet on when YouTube will look to launch Shorts in all regions, but given the ongoing development, you can expect to see it coming some time soon - I would predict before Christmas in order to maximize usage over the holiday period.
Whether it ends up being a valuable tool for you will largely come down to how you use it, but with potential for exposure on the front page, it could be worth considering within your YouTube approach.
At present, it looks as though you'll need 10k subscribers to get access to the Shorts Camera, when it does become available, while YouTube says it's looking at a broader roll out 'in the coming months'.