youtube shorts logo

The content that people upload to YouTube has changed a lot over the years. It’s swung from spur-of-the-moment clips to long-form, highly produced videos. “Shorts” is yet another way to create for YouTube, but this time, focusing on short-form videos with a social network-like focus.

YouTube Takes on TikTok

youtube shorts ui
YouTube Shorts UI YouTube

The way people typically create content for YouTube is by filming with a camera and editing the video before uploading it. While it’s been possible to record and upload directly with the YouTube app on your iPhone or Android smartphone, it was an afterthought.

RELATED: What Is TikTok, and Why Are Teens Obsessed with It?

“Shorts” is essentially Google’s response to TikTok and Instagram Reels. The idea is that you can easily and quickly create short 15-second videos from the YouTube app. And just like with TikTok and Reels, there are several editing tools at your disposal. You can string clips together, add text and music, adjust playback speed, and more.

While you might sit back and watch a traditional YouTube video on your TV or laptop, Shorts has a completely different viewing experience. Like those other short-form video platforms, Shorts are meant to be viewed in portrait orientation on your phone.

In short, YouTube Shorts are 15-second videos created with mobile devices and are meant to be viewed on mobile devices.

Where to Watch YouTube Shorts

shorts in the youtube app
Shorts section in the YouTube app YouTube

YouTube Shorts has its own section on the Home tab in the YouTube mobile apps for Android, iPhone, and iPad. Shorts is in beta at the time of writing, so you may not see it yet, and the location could change in the future.

The viewing experience for Shorts is quite different than for typical YouTube videos. Since they’re so short, the idea is that you can flip through them quickly and watch a bunch of them in one sitting. Once you open a Short, they start playing one after the next. You can swipe vertically from one video to the next.

If you have a few minutes to kill, you might not have time to watch a full video from your favorite creator, but you can scroll through some Shorts. These small videos are yet another way to make YouTube easier to enjoy.

RELATED: How to Search for YouTube Videos by Hashtag

Profile Photo for Joe Fedewa Joe Fedewa
Joe Fedewa is a Staff Writer at How-To Geek. He has been covering consumer technology for over a decade and previously worked as Managing Editor at XDA-Developers. Joe loves all things technology and is also an avid DIYer at heart. He has written thousands of articles, hundreds of tutorials, and dozens of reviews.
Read Full Bio »