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Snapchat stories changed the face of content creation forever. These short-form, disappearing videos took the world by storm, and in late November, YouTube launched its own spinoff of the same name. Originally called YouTube Reels, creators can now keep subscribers engaged in between video releases. The difference? These 30-second or less clips will last 7 days, not 24 hours.


The Newest Social Media Platform

In 2016, YouTube released the Community tab to creators, allowing them to post updates, polls, etc. Adding Stories underlines a commitment to listening and adjusting to creator comments, as both features come in response to popular streamers calling for more ways to reach fans.

YouTube wants you to take it seriously. It’s not just the online Blockbuster of homegrown content; this is a real streaming platform making every effort to become a social media network. It has every chance of working too – YouTube channels usually have huge fanbases that got hooked by watching long-form content, and they’re all clamoring for short-form stories and updates. 

Instead of posting bloopers or a long cast commentary at the end of a project, TV shows can take you behind the scenes every day and record little clips of what’s happening. Imagine not just being able to go and watch a movie, but also getting to see the extras and clips on YouTube and actually follow along as the movie is made, watching it transform before your eyes.


What We Know

Introduced as Reels in beta testing, the name was changed back to Stories and is now available to creators with more than 10,000 subscribers. Stories show up in the Home tab and, if subscribed, in Subscriptions as well.

It’s easy for creators to make a Story. Simply select ‘Story’ when you go to film a video on the YouTube app and add music, text and whimsical YouTube stickers. The posted videos will be available up to a week for viewers, although there was talk in beta-testing of extending the time or allowing creators to choose how long the clips are up. 

Subscribers can interact just like a YouTube video: they can attach comments to the video, like and dislike, and react to other comments as well. Creators can reply via text, video or gif right in the comment thread, encouraging more dialogue between fans and established YouTube stars. 

If Stories proves successful, YouTube may roll it out to all users. By combining some of the longest-form media (videos of multiple hours) and short snippet media, YouTube has truly grown into a entertainment and social network giant. Snapchat: you’ve been warned.

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