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YouTube Shorts Ultimate Guide in 2021

Feb 05, 2021• Proven solutions

Since smartphones are cheap and easily available in the market today, and there is also a huge range of contents to view online, a majority of users prefer watching videos that are both short enough to convey the message within a few seconds, and can be seen on your phone’s screen with decent picture quality. Considering this, Google lately came up with a Tik Tok-style app called YouTube shorts that can be accessed right from your Android or iPhone as long as you are using the YouTube app, and are signed in to your Google account.

That said, in the following sections you will learn everything about the YouTube Shorts app, and how it could help you gain more viewers for your YouTube channel.


Part 1: What Is YouTube Shorts?

A short and quick answer to the question is, YouTube Shorts is a Tik Tok competitor developed by Google and can be accessed via the YouTube app on an Android or iOS device. In order to use the YouTube Shorts app, all you need to do is, sign in to your YouTube account on the YouTube app, and you are good to go.

1. YouTube Shorts Release History

At the time of this writing, YouTube Shorts is still in the Beta phase, and there is a lot more that the developers at Google have yet to explore and discover. However, for now, the fully functional variant of the program is available only for users in India on Android and iOS platforms. 

2. YouTube Shorts Target Audience

A majority of people who can be called the target audience for YouTube Shorts are the artists and creators looking forward to getting noticed. Some of them could also be among those who wish to become an influencer, or get their YouTube channel more subscribers to be able to become eligible for YouTube Partnership Program.

And of course, the viewers and subscribers cannot be left alone when talking about the target audiences of YouTube Shorts as without them, there’s no point in creating short videos in the first place.

The type of contents that the viewers expect to see as YouTube Shorts could include:

  • Entertainment – While movies are of longer duration, roasting the characters in it, or explaining some other stuff to the subscribers could be one of the things that could keep the viewers engaged
  • Gaming – Some extraordinary gaming tips, tricks, and skills can be demonstrated in a short video
  • How-To – A couple of brief how-to illustrations can yet be another attraction for DIY-loving viewers
  • Science and Technology – A short introduction of upcoming gadgets or applications along with their usability can be explained within the timeframe of 60 seconds as well

In addition to the above, a few other categories could be People and Places, Music, Domestic and Wild Animals, Education, etc.

3. YouTube Shorts Content Requirements

While creating YouTube Shorts, there are certain guidelines that must be followed. These points include:

  • YouTube Shorts videos must not be more than 60 seconds long
  • The videos must be vertically shot, and must not be in the landscape orientation
  • You can have multiple short videos clubbed together. However, the total length of the final video must not exceed 60 seconds in duration
  • While posting YouTube Shorts videos, the title or the description must contain ‘#shorts’ in it

Certain things that you must keep in mind while creating YouTube Shorts include:

  • YouTube Shorts cannot be monetized. However, they can serve as a good medium to attract and redirect the audiences to your main YouTube channel which may contain several videos that are eligible for monetization.
  • The number of views and the total playtime of the YouTube Shorts videos DO affect your YouTube channel statistics

4. Where People Can Find YouTube Shorts

As mentioned earlier, YouTube Shorts can be accessed by launching the YouTube app on your Android or iOS device. You can use YouTube Shorts by clicking the + (Add) icon present at the bottom. Once the YouTube Shorts app is initialized, you can easily create and publish short videos by following the simple on-screen instructions.

Part 2: How to Make and Upload a YouTube Shorts Video with Shorts App?

You can follow the instructions given below to make and upload a YouTube Shorts video using the YouTube Shorts app:

Step 1: Record a Video with YouTube Shorts

 Record YouTube Shorts video

Launch the YouTube app on your Android or iOS smart device (Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ is used here for demonstration), make sure that you are signed in to your Google account, tap the + (Add) button present at the bottom of the screen, tap Create a Short on the popup box that appears next, tap the Record button on the next window to start the recording. Once you are done, tap the Stop button to stop the recording.

Step 2: Edit the Video

Tap Music from the bottom of the screen to add background music to the video. The music that you can use in your short videos must be either created by you, or you should have permission to use them. However, the audio files that the Music library contains is made available by Google, is royalty-free, and can be used throughout the platform.

 Edit YouTube Shorts video - Add text and music

Likewise, you can tap Text to add captions as well. As for the text type, the app offers various formatting options such as alignment (left, center, and right), text highlighter, font changer, and even color selector. Further, the Speed and Timer icons at the top-right area allow you to manage the playback speed anywhere between 0.3x to 3x, and automatically stop the recording after the set time limit respectively. Once everything is set up, tap NEXT from the top-right corner to proceed to the next step.

Step 3: Pick Target Audience Type

On the Add details window, tap Select audience, and on the Select audience window, tap to select the appropriate radio button to define whether the video is suitable for kids. Tap the Back button once the target audience is selected.

 Upload YouTube Shorts video - add details

Step 4: Add Details and Upload the Video

Enter a title for the video in the Title field. Make sure to include #shorts to help YouTube understand that you are preparing a YouTube Shorts video. Next, tap UPLOAD from the upper-right corner of the screen to submit the video for review. Once YouTube reviews the recording and finds it appropriate, it will be published on the portal, and will be visible throughout and even under the Shorts category of the main page.

 Upload YouTube Shorts video

Part 3: How to Create a Vertical YouTube Shorts Video in Filmora?

The YouTube Shorts app is pretty convenient to access and use alright. However, it doesn’t allow you to fine edit the videos. The app doesn’t even have many filtering options such as Effects, Elements, etc. to make your videos more engaging.

With that said, you can always use an efficient third-party program like Wondershare Filmora to create professionally-looking YouTube Shorts videos to attract your viewers.

When talking about Wondershare Filmora, it is a production and post-production app available for both Windows and Mac computers, and gives tough competition to some of the globally accepted similar programs like Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro X, etc. Furthermore, Filmora has its own built-in screen, webcam, and voice recording features that can be used to prepare interactive videos, game walkthroughs, and voiceovers as needed.

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The following step-by-step guide teaches you how to use Wondershare Filmora to create a vertical YouTube Shorts video:

Note: Before proceeding to the instructions, make sure that you have already recorded a vertical video using your cellphone, and that it has been transferred to your PC.

Step 1: Add the Video to Timeline

Launch Wondershare Filmora on your Windows or Mac PC (a Windows 10 computer is used here for demonstration), go to File > New Project, and click 9:16 (Portrait). Click anywhere inside the Media box, and select and import the source vertical video from your PC to Filmora.

 Upload YouTube Shorts video

Next, hover the mouse over the clip in the Media box, click the + button that appears at the bottom-right corner of the thumbnail, and in the resolution confirmation box that comes up next, click the button under the Match to Media section to add the video in the correct orientation to the Timeline at the bottom.

Step 2: Edit the Video

Select the clip in the Timeline, and use the Split, Crop, Speed, etc. buttons above the Timeline itself to remove the unwanted portions from the clip, manage its playback speed, and do other fine-tuning tasks.

 Edit YouTube Shorts video in Filmora - split/crop/change speed

You can even click the Edit button, and use the available editing features like Motion Tracking and Stabilization to add text or objects to a moving body in the video and stabilize the clip if the camera shook during the recording session respectively. Click OK to save the changes when done.

 Edit YouTube Shorts video in Filmora

Note: To be able to remain compliant with the YouTube Shorts policies, make sure that the video length is no longer than 60 seconds.

Step 3: Beautify the Video

Add Title to YouTube Shorts video with Filmora

Click Titles from the standard toolbox at the top, choose your preferred text category from the list in the left, hover the mouse over a decent preset in the right window, and click the + button at the bottom-right corner of the thumbnail to add the preset on top of the media track in the Timeline. Next, you can double-click the preset track in the Timeline to modify the text and make granular modifications to it as needed. Click OK to save the changes.

Similarly, you can select the Effects and Elements tools to add effects and elements to the video as needed. To add background music, you can go to the Audio tool, and pick your preferred preset from the available options. A custom music can be added by going to the Media tool, and importing an audio file from your PC using the method explained in Step 1.

Add effects to YouTube Shorts video with Filmora

After this, optionally, you can go to Split Screen from the standard toolbar at the top, and use your preferred Split Screen preset to club multiple video clips into one screen. In Filmora, you can add as many as 6 screens in a video.

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For Win 7 or later (64-bit)

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For macOS 10.12 or later

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Step 4: Render the Final Output

Once everything is set up, click EXPORT from the top of the window, go to the Local tab on the Export window, select MP4 from the formats list in the left, give a name and configure other settings from the available options in the right, and click EXPORT from the bottom-right corner to create a YouTube Shorts video. Once the clip is generated, you can upload the video to YouTube using #Shorts in the title or description to publish the video under the YouTube Shorts section.

 Edit YouTube Shorts video in Filmora- export

FAQs About YouTube Shorts

  1. Where to download the YouTube Shorts app?

The YouTube Shorts app is already present in the YouTube app that your Android or iOS smartphone has. All you need to do to access it is, sign in to your Google account, tap the + button at the bottom, and tap Create a Short in the popup box that comes up.

  1. What if YouTube Shorts is not showing on my YouTube app?

Make sure that your YouTube app is updated to its latest version. If the app is already updated, and YouTube Shorts is still unavailable, the chances are that Google hasn’t rolled the app in your region. Since YouTube Shorts is still in its Beta phase, only the region of India can use all the functions of the app at the time of this writing. In such a case, you are suggested to wait until the YouTube Shorts app is made available for your location.

  1. What’s the YouTube Shorts video duration?

A YouTube Shorts video can be of only up to 60 seconds.

  1. What’s the YouTube Shorts size limitation?

YouTube hasn’t provided any information related to this as of now. However, you can rest assure that a 60 seconds long video file wouldn’t be too large for YouTube to handle.

  1. How many subs do you need to access Shorts?

YouTube Shorts is available for everyone regardless of the number of subscribers the channel has.

  1. Can you make money on Shorts?

Unfortunately, NO. Although you cannot monetize the recordings published as YouTube Shorts, they can be a good source to drive subscribers to your main YouTube channel that may have the videos that can be monetized.

Richard Bennett
Richard Bennett is a writer and a lover of all things video.