Most people today have a small attention span, so I will try to keep this short. With TikTok still going strong, companies have realized that it’s a real competitor in the video and entertainment market. Companies like YouTube and Instagram have had the most notable change on their platforms with the introduction of YouTube Shorts and Instagram Reels after TikTok blew up in popularity. These new additions have come with their pros and cons, and people, even the content creators themselves, have noticed a difference in viewership.
YouTube Shorts were introduced to content creators earlier this year. It didn’t matter how many subscribers or watch time you had on your channel; anyone was able to create YouTube Shorts if you had an account. It started slowly but gradually took over the platform and now has its own subsection on the YouTube page. Content creators like myself have noticed that since YouTube Shorts’ introduction, views and video retention have changed drastically depending on the type of videos you post.
The YouTube videos you know of, landscaped quality, usually 5-10 minutes long, with ads, have been seeing a decline in viewership. People nowadays want fast-paced videos. Long-time YouTube fans are still loyal to the service, but a new era of viewers have come online. For example, let’s look at some of the analytics on my recent videos and Shorts.
Just below on the left, you can see the viewer retention span on a recently uploaded video that I posted on my own channel. You can see the first bit of the video has the most viewers watching, but as the video continues, people start to lose interest.
On the right, you can see the retention span of people watching a YouTube Shorts video. The retention span is much higher and more constant than in normal-length videos. There’s a higher percentage of people watching at the end of YouTube Shorts than in the middle of most YouTube videos.
The community welcomed YouTube shorts which are a great way to grow a channel. However, content on YouTube is becoming less and less of what it was originally meant to be.
YouTube isn’t the only platform that’s been directly affected by TikTok. Instagram has implemented a new way to show off your life with Instagram reels. This feature, however, might have gone a little overboard. Reels are basically TikToks on Instagram. Most of the filters and video options on TikTok have made their way to Reels. Not only has this TikTok variant been created, but it has also seemingly taken over Instagram.
Since the release of reels, options for videos and the way you view posts have been limited. The style of posts has been changed to look more prominent, and you can only view one post at a time. With this new layout, it’s harder for people to see posts from friends and family members, where before they could easily see them multiple times. Reels are recommended to you even on your home page, which takes up much of the room that is somewhat still available.
Besides the posts, videos on Instagram have been heavily impacted. If you’ve posted a video or have seen the InstaGaelNews page, you might notice that normal-looking videos automatically convert into Reels. You can upload a landscape or square video, but once you upload it, Instagram will show a pop-up explaining that videos are now converted into Reels.
With all these new features, people over the past few months have started to speak out and tell Instagram that they want the old Instagram back. Instagram seems to be holding strong regarding the changes they have implemented, despite the backlash.
Some of these changes might be news to you, while others are a thing of the past…year and a half. YouTube has embraced the new way of video even if it might be a bold departure from what was intended initially; Instagram has been getting backlash for turning their app into what is basically TikTok 2.0; and TikTok is still running strong with over 15 million active monthly viewers.
Legacy apps like YouTube and Instagram have lasted years and have grown monumentally, but will TikTok still have its place on the internet in 5-10 years? While it might be an “editors choice” app, once trends die down, new competitors could come into the business and take over the internet, just as TikTok did years ago.