December 3, 2018
YouTube expanded its Stories to more than 100,000 subscribers in its Partner Program, meaning they will appear more often in mobile users’ homepages. The trial for Stories began earlier this year with only a few channels. YouTube Stories last for seven days, appear for subscribers and non-subscribers, and allow creators to interact with fans that can leave comments or ask questions. First announced in November 2017, YouTube Stories appears to target channel promotion and community engagement rather than day-to-day updates.
The Verge reports that, “people on Reddit have discovered the upcoming change and have expressed mixed reactions about Stories on the platform,” with one suggesting that, “YouTube needs to focus on fixing its ongoing issues, including demonetization problems and advertising concerns, before rolling out bonus features.”
“The death of YouTube is finally coming to light,” said another Reddit user. “If they stop copying other social media and keep/support all of the old features (i.e. annotation) there is still a chance they will keep users.”
Creator Philip DeFranco also called YouTube Stories “weird.” “They stay up for 7 days, they allow comments, but you can only reply with another video/pic, and they currently lack swipe up/video linking features which to me seems like a missed opportunity,” he said. “Potential, but I’m skeptical.” Anyone who is eligible to participate in Stories can tap on the camera icon and select “Create Story.”
TechCrunch reports that creators with more than 10,000 subscribers can now “decorate [their] videos with text, stickers, filters and more … an easy way to engage with their fans in-between their more polished and produced videos.” Early adopters of these creative tools include “FashionByAlly, Colin and Samir, DR Oficial, ChannelFrederator and Cassandra Bankson.” During the trial period, YouTube only offered the tools to creators with more than 70,000 subscribers.
In addition to appearing on users’ mobile home pages, YouTube Stories “will show up to subscribers on the Subscriptions tab and … in the Up Next list below videos.” TechCrunch notes that one reason for YouTube to expand Stories is to stem the tide of YouTube creators that “point their fans to their Instagram for their short-form content and behind-the-scenes action.” YouTube has not disclosed “if or when the feature will roll out to its entire user base.”