In a recent announcement, YouTube confirms the discontinuation of its Stories feature, a tool similar to Snapchat and Instagram’s disappearing messages.
The feature, which allowed creators to post updates that would remain live for seven days, will be officially removed on June 26, 2023.
The Rise and Fall of YouTube Stories
Launched in 2018, Stories were initially available to creators with more than 10,000 subscribers.
The tool was designed to share behind-the-scenes updates, vlogs, sneak peeks of upcoming videos, and quick updates.
The decision to remove the feature comes after mixed reactions from users and creators, with some finding it “weird” and missing certain key functionality such as swipe up and video linking features.
Additionally, YouTube says the Stories feature had limited adoption compared to other engagement tools, such as community posts, which generate more comments and likes.
Community Posts and YouTube Short Films: The New Frontier
When YouTube ends Stories, the focus shifts to community posts and YouTube shorts.
YouTube recently expanded access to Community Posts to millions of creators and added popular aspects of Stories, such as editing tools and the ability for posts to expire after 24 hours.
According to the company, community posts generate “many times more comments and likes” than stories.
On the other hand, YouTube Shorts has become a strong competitor to TikTok’s short-form video content.
Despite challenges, including technical issues and an initial lack of monetization, YouTube Shorts is now an established tool for driving engagement and gaining new subscribers.
The monetization of shorts and the competitive landscape
YouTube has made progress in improving the monetization of shorts. A new process was announced on February 1, 2023, where revenue from ads displayed between short film clips will be shared among eligible creators.
This revenue sharing model replaces the YouTube Shorts Fund and is considered a potentially more sustainable and equitable way to compensate creators for their work.
Despite these advances, YouTube faces stiff competition in the short-form video space. TikTok, Meta and YouTube are the current heavyweights, with consumers choosing TikTok for short content.
However, marketers are starting to see the long-term ROI potential of Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts, creating a changing landscape for the industry.
Following the suspension of Stories, YouTube is reassuring everyone that it remains committed to investing in new and innovative tools to help creators grow.
With more features for short films and community posts on the way, YouTube’s vision for the future is focused on the tools that show the most promise for user engagement.
Featured image generated by the author via Midjourney.