In a new video uploaded by Creator Insider, YouTube addressed the questions of creators regarding its short-form content platform app, Shorts. Todd Sherman, director of Shorts product management, shared insider info regarding how the Shorts algorithm works, as well as tips on how to make great content on the platform.

Shorts algorithm and views vs. long form YouTube content

According to Sherman, for long-form content on YouTube, the recommendation page is based on what the user clicks and watches. However, with Shorts, the content is diverse since the users watch hundreds of videos. 

Sherman also added that a flip doesn’t always count as a view, unlike other platforms such as TikTok. The view threshold in Shorts reflects the user’s intent to watch the video, but Sherman didn’t specify what constitutes views. 

Making custom thumbnails for Shorts

Interestingly, Sherman advised creators not to bother with making custom thumbnails for Shorts as they are mostly not seen compared to long videos. According to the director, Shorts thumbnail is like an entry point when the audience opens Shorts. As the user flips through the videos, they won’t see other thumbnails. 

Many creators disagree with this insight, though, as having uniform thumbnails contributes to their branding. Instead, creators recommended the ability to select a frame when editing Shorts on a desktop. 

Time of publishing, republishing Shorts

According to Sherman, creators don’t have to consider the time of publishing unless they’re covering news. He also emphasized that quality matters over quantity in gaining traction. Deleting and republishing Shorts is also discouraged as it can be flagged as a scam.

The director also answered why some creators’ views dropped. According to him, the algorithm finds new seed audiences for creators, so either the videos get more traffic or taper off. 

The future of Shorts on YouTube

When asked about the future of Shorts on YouTube, Sherman said, “There’s just so many things that I think are interesting in the pipeline. Lots of things around interactivity.” Since AI has also been a topic of debate, the director was asked what he thinks is the future of Shorts with AI. He hinted, “AI is something that has helped creators of many different types and many different use cases … it’s just so exciting to be building these products.”