Stories. Historically, we've loved reading them and telling them, but the word has evolved a lot in the past years to encompass moments shared throughout the day. Snapchat, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, they all have their version of Stories, and now YouTube has officially launched its own.
YouTube began toying with the idea when it rolled out Reels to the Community tab, but it wasn't until a few months ago that we started seeing Stories from select channels popping up in the app. Now it's official: any creator with 10K+ subscriber will have access to the new Stories feature, letting them share instant videos with their subscribers, and add text, music, filters, and stickers. To get started, just tap the video button in the Android app and select Create Story.
Stories also support comments which, unlike Instagram and WhatsApp, everyone can see, upvote, downvote, and like. Creators will have access to moderation tools there as well, the same as YouTube, and will be able to quickly reply with a photo or video.
YouTube says that Stories will show up for your channel subscribers in the subscription page (look for the circle around the channel icon), and may also be suggested to non-subscribers in the Home page or in Up Next. They will be available for seven days in the app, but upon checking a few channels, it seems like creators can keep them for longer if they choose to.
While it makes sense to see YouTube tap into the more informal and instantaneous market that is Stories, I can't help but spare a thought to all the creators out there. Not only will they be under the pressure to make engaging videos for their community, they'll also have to start considering more interim shorter shots for their Stories, then keep an eye on those comments as well. Posting one photo to Instagram easily steals half an hour from my day, I can't begin to imagine what being a YouTuber takes. It's nice to be friendly and accessible, but this constant requirement to show a perfect image and stay under the spotlights must be mentally and physically grueling — and it's only going to get worse.