Yeah, I’m not sure about this one.
YouTube has announced that it’s testing out a new option which will enable Shorts creators to create response videos to comments on other people’s channels, as a means of providing more capacity for interaction within the broader YouTube community.
YouTube added the capacity for Shorts creators to create Shorts as comment replies on their own Shorts back in February, providing another way to engage with viewers.
Which makes sense – the added visual context of a Shorts video as a response could help improve engagement, while also making viewers feel more acknowledged for their comment.
But replying to comments on other people’s videos feels a little odd, maybe?
As explained by YouTube:
“While creators are already able to reply to comments posted on their own content with a Short, we want to explore offering viewers the opportunity to create content from comments as well. The Short will appear in the Shorts feed and on the viewer's channel page, but unlike the creator version, it won't appear as a reply in the comments feed.”
So it’s not really the same, in that it won’t display in the comment stream. And in this context, it’s more like taking comments from another channel to use as your own fodder for creation.
“Viewer-created Shorts won't send notifications to the creator whose video the comment is on, nor the comment author. Creators can't prohibit their comments from being featured in a Short unless comments on their video are disabled.”
And if comments are disabled, the comment won’t exist.
It makes some sense, I guess, as a means to facilitate more inspiration and engagement within the broader YouTube system, but it just feels like farming other people’s content for your own, which seems not right.
Then again, many of the most popular YouTubers in the world make a living off of reaction videos, in which they respond to content posted by other people. This is essentially the same thing, but via comments – though the fact that the comment author isn’t made aware of such also seems odd.
Either way, it could offer another stream of inspiration for your Shorts clips, by commenting on other people’s comments, and sub-tweeting them in Shorts form.
YouTube says that it will be running this experiment with a small percentage of viewers on Android and iOS.
On another front, YouTube’s also adding a new report in YouTube Analytics which will display viewer overlap across video formats.
As you can see in this example, the new report will show you how much of your audience is watching your videos, your Shorts, or both, which could help guide your content efforts.
This could be particularly helpful for those experimenting with Shorts, and determining the relative value of their creation efforts.
You can learn more about YouTube’s latest experiments here.