In a recent announcement, YouTube confirms discontinuing its Stories feature, a tool similar to Snapchat’s and Instagram’s disappearing messages.
The feature, which allowed creators to post updates that would remain live for seven days, will officially be phased out on June 26, 2023.
The Rise and Fall of YouTube Stories
Launched in 2018, Stories were initially available to creators with over 10,000 subscribers.
The tool was designed for sharing behind-the-scenes updates, vlogs, sneak peeks at 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 lacking certain key functionalities like swipe-up and video linking features.
Further, YouTube says the Stories feature saw limited adoption compared to other engagement tools, like community posts, which drive more comments and likes.
Community Posts & YouTube Shorts: The New Frontier
As YouTube puts an end to Stories, the focus shifts toward 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.
Community posts consistently drive “many times more comments and likes” than Stories, the company says.
On the other hand, YouTube Shorts has emerged as a strong contender to TikTok’s short-form video content.
Despite challenges, such as technical issues, and an initial lack of monetization, YouTube Shorts is now an established tool for driving engagement and gaining new subscribers.
Shorts Monetization & The Competitive Landscape
YouTube has made strides in improving the monetization of Shorts. A new process was announced on February 1, 2023, where revenue from ads displayed between Shorts clips will be shared among eligible creators.
This revenue-sharing model replaces the YouTube Shorts Fund, and it’s seen as a potentially more sustainable and equitable way to compensate creators for their work.
Despite these advancements, YouTube faces tough competition in the short-form video space. TikTok, Meta, and YouTube are the current heavyweights, with consumers choosing TikTok for short-form content.
Nevertheless, marketers are beginning to see the long-term return on investment potential in Instagram’s Reels and YouTube’s Shorts, creating a shifting landscape in the industry.
Following the discontinuation of Stories, YouTube reassures everyone it remains committed to investing in new and innovative tools to help creators grow.
With more features for Shorts and community posts on the way, YouTube’s vision for the future centers around the tools that show the most promise for user engagement.
Featured image generated by the author using Midjourney.