Paddy Galloway decoded the YouTube Shorts algorithm to answer some frequently asked questions

Famous YouTube growth hacker Paddy Galloway, known for helping people build and grow their YouTube channels, recently shared some findings on his Twitter account regarding YouTube Shorts.

In order to carry out the project, Paddy, along with his chief analyst, Chris Gileta, studied thirty-three YouTube channels hosting 5,400 YouTube Shorts. Based on the data collected by the two, they were able to shed some light on one of the most frequently asked questions: how short should YouTube Shorts be?

Based on the graph posted by Paddy, it can be seen that most of the shorts were somewhere between thirty and forty seconds in length. Followed by a twenty to thirty-second time frame. Whereas shorts made in the zero to ten second limits were the lowest in numbers.

However, in terms of views, the results were a bit different. As mentioned above, shorts created in a 0–10 second time frame were the most rare ones; hence, they also had the least number of views. Surprisingly, on the basis of views, shorts following the 50- to 60-second frame gathered up to 1.7 million views as compared to the 30- to 40-second frame, which, despite having the most numbers, was at the third position in terms of views.

While creating a YouTube short, creators would only focus on the creation and not on holding people for as long as possible. Based on the collected data, it can be noted that shorts where the average view duration was greater than fifty seconds had an average of 4.1 million views. As the duration decreased, average views also began to decline. However, a big gap can be seen between the 40 and 50 second frames, which hold 1.8 million average views, whereas the 50 to 60 second frames gather 4.1 million average views.

While discussing things that need to be noted from the study, Paddy wrote that the YouTube algorithm prefers longer videos that have a better average view performance over very short ones. However, it does not mean that creators should start creating shorts with a particular time limit. There were many exceptions in this regard, so a certain length shouldn’t be focused.

Another important factor that is looked upon by the algorithm includes viewed versus swiped away difference. Based on the graph, it is evident that YouTube shorts created with less than sixty percent of them viewed versus swiped away had poor performance, whereas those ranging between seventy and ninety percent showed excellent progress.

According to Paddy, it is still unclear whether viewer engagement, such as likes or comments, is also included by the algorithm, just like it is in long-form videos. He further suggested that creators pay more attention to the first and second. It is the first second that decides whether it will be swiped away or watched.

Moving on to another frequently asked question, that of whether shorts are even worth it or not, Initially, Paddy himself considered shorts to be a short cut for getting more subscribers; however, after concluding the study, even his views have changed. Based on the collected data, YouTube videos had a higher subscriber conversion rate than shorts.

It is important to understand that while shorts are an easy way to get more subscribers with less effort, subscriber count is not that important, but still every creator wants it. And as for the main question, can Shorts help make meaningful money?

While comparing RPM pre and post February 1, 2023, it can be seen that after the 1st of February, average RPM went up. As compared to long videos, the duration of short videos does not seem to make any fruitful difference. Based on the graph, it can be seen that the average RPMs of all short durations were close to each other.

Hence, it can be concluded that currently, shorts are not capable of generating meaningful money, but it can be expected that within a year, things might change.

Read next: YouTube, TikTok or Instagram? This Study Revealed Which Short Video Platform is The Best

Previous Post Next Post