Experiments In YouTube

I’ve been making WordPress tutorial videos for WinningWP on YouTube now for more than six years. For the majority of that time the concept of “Shorts” didn’t exist on YouTube. The videos were screencasts of standard scale desktops, recorded in 4k, etc. Some of the videos did very very well. Most have just a few thousand after all these years.

Recently we had a brain storming session and decided to make some more videos, but make them much shorter and see if they did better. The first several were standard scale, and not “shorts”. It’s been a month and a half and one of them has more than 100 views, most are around 30 or so.

Then we researched what a “short” actually is. As it turns out it’s not simply a short video (less than 60 seconds). Additionally from a dimension standpoint, it has to be narrower vertically than horizontally. From a practical standpoint they want videos shot in portrait on a cell phone. So we decided to make some and see how it went.

All things considered, shorts get much more traffic than regular videos. Most of them in the last two weeks have more traffic than all of the ones that are 6 weeks old.

Now, we’re talking about views in the hundreds here, we haven’t given it enough time to see if these really get big. But as an MVP test, shorts seem to be performing much much better than traditional videos.

They’re also cheaper to make, and can be made much more quickly.

An additional benefit of making them this way is that the interface is mobile, even though I’m actually on the desktop.

Here’s an example:

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