YouTube has undergone many updates since its official launch in 2005, and it’s essential that users of all levels are aware of its capabilities. In 2021, you’ll see YouTube continuing to roll out new functionalities – such as Clips and Shorts – that will help the platform to capitalize on the popularity of short video clip creation and sharing.
Plus, a wide array of video editing tools, monetization, and chat functionality allow creators from entry-level up to world-leading influencers to promote themselves.
Check out the newest YouTube updates in 2021 so you can stay competitive and hit your goals.
New year, new guidelines
YouTube shines a spotlight on advertiser-friendly content guidelines with a new page outlining their policies on gaming pages. YouTube created the page with the intent to clarify monetization, advertisement, and self-certification processes in connection to gaming content.
There have been no policy changes in these areas, but YouTube seeks to promote transparency. New guidelines for self-certification are available, and additional areas are clarified that cover the regulation of incendiary, demeaning, tobacco-related, and other adult-themed content.
YouTube tests new Clips function
In January, YouTube announced that it will begin testing its new Clips function with a limited number of creators. However, if you’d like to try it for yourself now, this video from Creator Insider already has the functionality enabled.
The YouTube Clips function is a way to share specific clips of 5-60 seconds with your own attributes, including a unique URL. Quite simply, it allows you to easily share bitesize video clips on other channels, instead of having to link the entire video.
This update is an important move for YouTube in its bid to rival the similar video clipping functionality that Twitch has had since 2016.
It’s important to note that the Clips function is aimed at allowing users to make clips from other creators’ live streams and VODs, and as yet, isn’t aimed at all video and content types.
So far, we know that the Clips function won’t be made available for children’s content, premieres while they are live, and live stream without digital video recorder enabled.
YouTube is currently monitoring Clips, and will share new information about wider availability and functionality soon. One thing for marketers to pay attention to is how ads will (or won’t) be integrated into Clips, which will be new stand-alone videos that aren’t publicly listed.
YouTube Shorts expanding soon
These TikTok-style short video feeds are still in the process of being rolled out. Currently, only users in India can access the full Shorts functionality, and YouTube Shorts beta will launch in the US in March 2021.
However, even with limited functionality, everyone can still upload their Shorts clips. To share your short vertical videos (of up to 60 seconds), just include #Shorts in the title or description.
The future of Ecommerce
The next testing phase of YouTube’s ecommerce functionality is underway with a selected group of creators. These upcoming YouTube features will allow creators to tag products displayed within their videos.
This functionality is a sign of things to come, where in the future everything that you see online – in any upload – will be available for purchase.
YouTube has shown support for the BLM movement by announcing selected participants for its #YouTubeBlack Voices program. A lucky few will be a part of the $100 million project that seeks to promote diversity.
The program will promote and fund a select group of 132 content creators from across the world.
One for sports fans
Browse and watch sports on the updated YouTube sports platform page. The page has been redesigned, and you can find it by using the Explore tab in the YouTube mobile app, or by going to the left side navigation on the web browser.
YouTube Hashtag Links
YouTube has brought out dedicated hashtag landing pages for all users, so you now have new ways to sort and discover videos. To visit a YouTube hashtag page, just click on any hashtag that a YouTuber attaches to a video. You can also go directly to a hashtag page by entering: www.youtube.com/hashtag/yourterm.
YouTube Improves Copyright Protection
The YouTube copyright takedown webform has been updated to help creators understand and act on related best practices. More information is also provided on how users can schedule a takedown request.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published on socialbakers.com. Any statistics or statements included in this article were current at the time of original publication.