In a surprising turn of events, YouTube is bidding adieu to its stories feature. The beloved platform, owned by the tech giant Google, recently revealed that YouTube Stories will come to an end on June 26, 2023. The decision comes as part of a strategic shift to prioritize other key areas, such as the popular shorts, community posts, live videos, and, of course, its renowned long-form content.
YouTube intends to ensure a smooth transition for its vibrant community of creators during this transition. To that end, the platform plans to deploy various communication channels to alert creators about the upcoming shutdown. Expect forum posts, in-app messages, reminders within YouTube Studio, and more, as YouTube strives to keep everyone well-informed and prepared for the big change!
The once-ubiquitous Stories format, which used to dominate numerous social apps, has been gradually losing its shine in the face of TikTok’s meteoric ascent. Nowadays, instead of the casual and ephemeral Stories format, services are increasingly adopting the short-form vertical video format popularized by TikTok.
YouTube’s decision to bid farewell to Stories is not an isolated occurrence. Other prominent platforms have also relinquished their Stories features. Netflix, for instance, previously experimented with a similar concept called “Extras” on its mobile app, sharing videos and photos from popular shows.
However, the streaming giant eventually shifted its focus towards vertical video, unveiling features like the short-form comedy videos feed known as “Fast Laughs,” along with a vertical video feature catered to younger audiences. Similarly, LinkedIn made the choice to abandon its Stories feature in 2021.
Even Spotify, while introducing a Stories-like feature for artists’ profiles, has embraced a larger redesign that prioritizes TikTok-like discovery feeds at the core of its user experience.
In 2018, YouTube introduced Stories to its platform, initially limiting access to creators with over 10,000 subscribers. However, the feature was never made available to the wider YouTube community, preventing casual and personal sharing from truly taking off.
The company had envisioned Stories as a way for creators to connect with their audience on a more intimate level, bridging the gap between their meticulously produced videos. It was intended to serve as a tool for behind-the-scenes updates, vlogs, sneak peeks of upcoming content, quick updates, and other engaging interactions with viewers. Unfortunately, the potential for widespread adoption of Stories on YouTube was never fully realized.
YouTube Stories, similar to their counterparts on Instagram and Snapchat, had a lifespan of seven days before disappearing. Unlike Instagram’s Story Highlights, however, saving Stories on a creator’s profile was not possible.
The adoption of YouTube Stories remained limited, especially when compared to the success of other engagement tools like Community posts. In today’s announcement, YouTube acknowledged that Community posts generated significantly more comments and like compared to Stories among creators who utilized both features. As a result, YouTube has expanded access to Community posts by dropping the previous requirement of having over 500 subscribers.
Furthermore, creators have redirected their focus towards short-form video content on YouTube Shorts. The platform highlights that this format has garnered greater success compared to Stories.
On average, creators who utilized both Shorts and Stories witnessed “many times more subscribers” on Shorts, further solidifying its appeal and effectiveness. The shift towards YouTube Shorts demonstrates the evolving preferences of both creators and viewers, as they embrace the captivating potential of concise and engaging short-form videos.
“Following the increasing popularity of Shorts on YouTube, we have observed that creators have found value in this new format,” explained a spokesperson from YouTube regarding the modifications. “To prioritize the key areas that creators need for their success, we have decided to discontinue Stories.
Nevertheless, we remain committed to supporting creators in their growth and facilitating their connection with audiences across various formats,” they added.
YouTube will inform creators who frequently use Stories about the shutdown through a community forum post, notifications in YouTube Studio, Help Center content, and an upcoming Creator Insider video where regular updates are shared. Furthermore, if creators access the Stories feature before June 26, they will receive a notification directly within Stories, serving as a reminder of the impending changes.
After June 26, it will no longer be possible to create new YouTube Stories. However, existing Stories will remain visible for a period of seven days from their original sharing date, according to YouTube.
While stories will no longer be available for creation, YouTube will continue to invest in supporting creators and facilitating their growth and audience engagement across various formats. All in all, this big change reflects YouTube’s commitment to adapting its platform and features to better meet the evolving needs of its creator community.
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