What Is Shorts On YouTube: A Complete Guide

In 2020 YouTube released a new feature called YouTube shorts after the following ban of TikTok in India, then they released this feature in other countries too. This platform is still in a beta version and it is regarded as an alternative to Instagram Reels or TikTok short video sharing platform. Since then YouTube shorts platform has approx. 5 trillion views in total. So, actually what is shorts on YouTube and how do you use it? Well, in this blog, I will try to give a better insight into this new amazing tool.

what is shorts on youtube

What is shorts on YouTube?

As I mentioned above it is a short video sharing feature of YouTube just like Tikiok and Instagram, where you can make short videos, edit them and later publish them. You can create shorts and watch shorts videos with the YouTube app itself. Primarily, YouTube shorts are optimized for viewing on mobile phones, but you can also access and watch on PC. 

Create as much as short videos for your channel, this will be a great source for increasing watch time and also engagement. Pick a niche that you can think can work. Although you can make short videos on any niche, all niches will not perform well because of YouTube’s short time limitations and video format. So, which niches will be beneficial for you? Well, I have made a separate post regarding ideas for youtube shorts, if you wish you can check this post

YouTube shorts requirements-

There are no such major requirements or rules to follow to create and watch YouTube shorts except for the YouTube age policy. You can create shorts in your brand new YouTube channel or in your existing channel. However, there are some regulations to follow when you are creating a short in terms of video format & time duration.

  • YouTube shorts format- In this platform, horizontal video format won’t work, only vertical (preferred) or square video format will work.
  • YouTube shorts aspects ratio- 9:16 is the aspect ratio for YouTube shorts that takes up your entire mobile screen vertically.
  • YouTube shorts resolution- The preferred resolutions for YouTube shorts are  720×1280. 1080×1920.
  • YouTube shorts video time limit- There is a time limit to create and upload YouTube shorts. You will get only 60 seconds time to make a complete video. Longer than 60 seconds videos aren’t going to work and will regard as a normal YouTube video.

How to make YouTube shorts-

Step 1- First open the YouTube app on your mobile phone. Click the ‘+’ as shown in the below picture.

how to make youtube shorts

Step 2- You will see the ‘Create a Short’ dialogue, click it. Then your mobile camera will be open with lots of functions or options to make a YouTube short.

YouTube shorts

To create instant YouTube shorts you need to click the RED circle button. To record the above 15 seconds video you need to tab the ‘15’ second option, this will extend the record time to 60 seconds.

Apart from the ‘Time’ function, you will have other functions like ‘Speed’, ‘Timer’, ‘Flash’, ‘ Flip’( to record both front and back view). You can undo your video, also you can add music, text, apply filters in videos.

And after editing the short video and adding a title & description you can save as a draft or directly publish it. You can schedule your video to publish it and you will have three options to publish it such as public, unlisted or private.

How to upload YouTube shorts-

You can upload short videos from both mobile and a PC. YouTube mobile app allows you to directly upload a short video. But if you want to upload a short video after editing a video in an external video editing app then you can also do that.


How to upload YouTube shorts from pc-

Step 1 – Login to your YouTube studio, go to your Dashboard or Content section. Click the ‘Upload Videos’ button.

how to upload youtube shorts

Step 2- Click ‘Select files’, and after selecting the file, your video will be uploaded. After adding the Title, Description, and thumbnails your short video will be ready to publish.

How to upload YouTube shorts from mobile-

Step 1- Open your YouTube app, you’ll see the ‘+’ sign below; click it. You will see three options popping up i.e. ‘Create a short’, ‘Upload a video’, ‘Go Live’.

Step 2- Click the ‘Create a Short” option. You’ll see a gallery option on the left bottom of your mobile screen. Click the ‘Gallery’ option and select the video that you want to upload.

Step 3- After choosing a video, your video will be processed to load. After loading you will see the ‘ADD’ button at your top right screen.

Step 4- You need to add a title, description before publishing it. After that, click the “Upload Short” button and your video will be published.

How to make YouTube shorts thumbnail-

YouTube will choose a random thumbnail frame for your video when you upload a video. Apart from that, you can also customize your own thumbnail. To help you in editing YouTube shorts thumbnail, Nicky Pasquier who is a YouTuber made an awesome free Canva template. You can use this template by clicking this link.

To upload a YouTube shorts custom thumbnail first log in to your desktop YouTube studio. First, you need to verify your phone number to gain access to add a custom thumbnail.

Step 1- Then go to the thumbnail section, you’ll see dialogue written as “Upload Thumbnail”.

how to make youtube shorts thumbnail

Step 2- Click it, then select the image from your PC and upload it. When you are done, you need to click the ‘Save’ button as shown in the picture below.

youtube shorts format

Do YouTube shorts make money-

Though YouTube shorts will attract lots of views towards your channel, as of now you cannot monetize your videos through placing ads and earning money. For alternative YouTube create a reward system for the creators which is $100M dollar fund distribution over the course of 2021-22. Each month they reach thousands of creators whose has the most engagement and views and reward them some money from the fund.

But before eligible for YouTube shorts, you need to meet some requirements. Such as –

  • You need to upload at least one short video in the last 180 days.
  • Uploading videos with watermarks, logos from third-party social media, non-original videos, or re-uploaded videos from other creators will not be eligible.
  • Your channel needs to abide by YouTube community guidelines, monetization policies, and copyright rules.

But apart from the YouTube funds, what are the options you have to earn money through YouTube shorts. Well, there are some ways through which you can make money. Such as-

Affiliate marketing – Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways through which you can money from creating YouTube shorts. This marketing is nothing but a promotion of other company’s products through your shorts videos. When you put a product link in your short video description and viewers buy this product through your link then you will get some percentage of commission from the company.

Amazon Associates, ClickBank, Awin, ShareASale, CJ Affiliate (formerly known as Commission Junction), Rakuten Marketing are some the examples of the best affiliate networks.

Selling your own products- Let’s say you have a brand or company where you make products like digital products or physical products that are useful to any viewers, you can sell them by providing a platform where your audience can buy your stuff. Here there is an advantage which is unlike affiliate marketing here you will get 100%  profit by selling your own product.


I think I have presented to some extent a clear picture of what is shorts on YouTube by the above explanation? If you have any suggestions regarding YouTube shorts then please feel free to comment below.

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