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DUBAI: Short-form video has become all the rage, as evidenced by the popularity of social media platform TikTok. Building on this trend, one year ago, YouTube introduced its short-form content format “Shorts” in the MENA region. Since its global launch in 2020, YouTube Shorts has grown a community of more than 1.5 billion monthly logged-in users globally.

The platform is not only designed to engage users but also help creators and artists produce quick and easy content. “For artists, the path to success has never been more demanding, so we’re designing products like Shorts to make YouTube THE place for them to connect with their fans and grow long-term, sustainable music careers,” according to a company statement.

“Shorts have become an essential part of the YouTube experience for our creators and viewers,” said Neal Mohan, YouTube’s chief product officer.

“While we’re still at the beginning of our journey with Shorts, we look forward to continuing to innovate the product so our creators can continue to express themselves, connect with their audiences, and increase their reach and revenue opportunities on the platform,” he added.


• YouTube Shorts are being watched by over 1.5 billion logged-in users every month.

• In April 2022, Shorts containing content sampled from long-form videos generated over 100 billion views.

• Despite having fewer long-form videos, Shorts allowed Azza Zarour to grow her subscribers by 43 percent.

The platform recently introduced new features to elevate Shorts. For example, video remixing allows creators to use content from YouTube and put their own spin on it using tools such as “cut” and “green screen.” With these tools, creators can use a 1- to 5-second video segment in their new Short, or a video segment of up to 60 seconds as the background for their new Short, from any eligible video-on-demand (VOD) or Short.

The platform has also enhanced its analytics dashboard, enabling creators and artists to see insights and performance data for specific content across YouTube’s different video formats, which include VOD, Live and Shorts.

The introduction of new formats has led to a new trend on the platform, the company said: the rise of the multiformat creator and artist. Rather than specializing in any one type of content format, creators today are moving between different formats to maximize their creativity and revenue.

In fact, channels uploading both Shorts and long-form content are seeing better overall watch time and subscriber growth relative to those only uploading long-form content.

TV personality Azza Zarour and video creator Fatoom Dababneh, who have over 3 million and 800,000 YouTube subscribers respectively, are adept at leveraging the different formats on the platform.

Zarour used Shorts to take her subscribers through her motherhood journey soon after she had a baby. Despite having fewer long-form videos, Shorts allowed Zarour to grow her subscribers by 43 percent.

“YouTube Shorts really gave me a new avenue of content and helped me grow my channel,” she said.

Beyond new features, YouTube is also incentivizing creators on the platform. Last year, it launched a $100 million global fund. Creators from the MENA region were eligible to participate and could earn between $100 and $10,000 each month with bonus amounts adjusted based on the channel’s Shorts total performance and audience location.

“It has been exciting seeing the different ways YouTube has helped MENA creators to share their stories with the world and Shorts is one of the many ways we hope to continue empowering them,” said Tarek Amin, head of YouTube in MENA.

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