What Is YouTube Stories?
YouTube officially launches YouTube Stories and makes it available to more users. First announced in 2017, it was initially tested and experimented on through a number of selected YouTube channels.
The widely popular Stories feature was first taken advantage of by major social networking platforms such as Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram with up to 400 million daily users in 2018. But what are YouTube Stories? What sets it apart from the rest, and more importantly, is it just another Instagram Stories copycat?
Instagram Stories vs YouTube Stories
Formerly known as “Reels,” the latest feature allows YouTube creators to share videos and photos available for both subscribers and non-subscribers to view.
Unlike Instagram Stories that expire within 24 hours after uploading, YouTube Stories last longer, staying visible for viewers to see for seven days. There is a higher likelihood of this type of YouTube content getting discovered as it gets featured in the “Up Next” sidebar beside a video for non-subscribers and on the Subscription tab for subscribers. Instead of one long story that can be later on categorized through Stories highlights, YouTube Stories makes it possible to post multiple Stories with its own set of photos and videos live simultaneously.
Another stark contrast between the two is the eligibility of who can use the feature. While anyone can create and upload Instagram Stories, YouTube Stories is an exclusive feature that only creators with a significant amount of subscribers can leverage. Currently, YouTube creators are required to have at least 10,000 subscribers in their channel before they can unlock this new awesome feature.
However, similar with other social networking platforms, YouTube Stories also encourage interaction from its community through the options of giving thumbs up, thumbs down, and hearts or by leaving comments on the posts. YouTube creators can also jazz up their Stories and be more creative by choosing from a wide array of music, filters, and stickers.
The benefits of YouTube Stories
Basically, YouTube Stories are a more candid, bite-sized type of content that creators can share to the community. These are the type of content that can typically be recorded live or uploaded fresh from a mobile phone and does not necessarily need the rigorous kind of editing and high-level production.
That being said, it seems that YouTube Stories aims to help YouTube creators achieve the following:
- Upload relevant content with higher frequency since they are easier and faster to create
- Promote engagement with their existing subscribers through the exchange of thumbs up, thumbs down, hearts, and the comment section. However, creators cannot comment back but can reply thru another video.
- Up their chances of getting discovered by non-subscribers given the bigger exposure of YouTube stories
Fashion by Ally, one of the first YouTube creators who had the privilege to test the brand-new feature, have used it to update her subscribers about what she is up to and the upcoming videos in her YouTube channel they should watch out for. Other vloggers, on the other hand, posted behind-the-scene clips and snippets of their typical day. With YouTube Stories at their disposal, now YouTube content creators do not have to log out of the video-sharing website and log on to other social networking sites, such as Facebook or Instagram, to connect with their subscribers and advertise their latest videos.
How to Create YouTube Stories
If you have 10,000 subscribers in your YouTube channel, you are qualified this new talked about feature. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make your first YouTube Stories.
- Download the YouTube app on your mobile device and log in with your credentials.
- Click on the camera icon on top of the screen.
- Select the Story icon at the bottom.
- Tap on the screen once to capture a photo and tap and hold to record a video. You can also choose photos from your phone’s camera roll.
- Enhance your stories with music, stickers, texts, and filters.
- When you are finished, you have the option to post it right away or save it for later.
How will it affect the YouTube algorithm?
Truth be told, not everyone in the video-sharing community has accepted YouTube Stories with open arms. The announcement of the latest feature has been met with a mix of skepticism and pessimism from both creators and subscribers, primarily due to the obvious that it lacks originality since Stories exists in other platforms already.
A more serious concern that surfaced, however, touches on the allegedly unfair YouTube algorithm that prioritizes more popular creators over the smaller, start-up channels. This notion comes from the fact that the current algorithm gives higher levels of exposure to more established YouTube channels with ads and brand sponsorships. Because struggling and budding YouTube creators still don’t have the impressive following to attract brands to sponsor them, their only chance is Adsense to make money from their YouTube videos.
Because of this current YouTube algorithm scheme which gives the spotlight to channels with ads over those who don’t, it is understandable why start-up creators believe they don’t stand a chance with the bigger YouTube creators. This is also a major reason why it is getting harder and harder for them to sustain their channel and produce high-quality content.
This is why instead of being viewed as a tool to foster engagement in the community, the launch of YouTube Stories is being deemed as another strategy to give a bigger stage for the already established YouTube creators and to cast the rest to the shadows of the search results. Its exclusivity to users with 10,000 subscribers is also frowned upon because while it may not sound like a lot, it is tough to achieve especially in YouTube where competition is tight.
Another flaw in YouTube Stories that users are already complaining about on Twitter is the fact that while subscribers and non-subscribers can comment, the creator cannot respond directly to these user comments. He or she can, however, upload another photo or video on the Stories to answer or interact.
In conclusion, the new YouTube Stories look promising, but it is still too early to tell whether it will catch on or be a flop in the end. Let’s stay tuned.