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Content comes in all formats today, and YouTube was among the first few social media platforms to join the short-form video fad with Shorts, alongside the likes of Instagram Reels and TikTok. However, Shorts mostly feel like a one-way broadcast from the creator to the viewers, with comments being the only form of interaction. Google recently announced a slew of new features to facilitate engagement with audiences, better creator discovery, and collaboration for content creation. You could say YouTube Shorts is finally realizing the importance of the social element in its recipe for growth and success.

For a while now Instagram has allowed remixing Reels content so smaller creators can make their own version of other Reels while both play in a split-screen format. YouTube Shorts creators can now use the Collab option under Remix to do just that, complete with multiple layouts for split-screening. The platform is marketing Collabs as the next step after Green Screen — a feature allowing use of other videos as backgrounds for your own — but we aren’t strangers to the lack of originality in social media. Collabs is rolling out on iOS first, with support for Android arriving in the coming weeks.

You can create Collabs on YouTube Shorts now

YouTube is also making it easier to create a Remix of a Shorts video you liked, with automatic suggestions to copy over the same background music and visual filter as your inspiration. You’ll find this option in the Shorts player under the Remix buttonUse sound. The copied music will even play from the same timestamp, saving you even more time finding the correct segment for your Remix. YouTube even allows saving Shorts in playlists, so creators can collate inspiration for upcoming content, and viewers can save stuff they wish to revisit later.

Suggestions in action

With creators pouring so much effort into Shorts and billions of users watching the content every month, YouTube reckons Shorts is now ready to become an avenue for creator discovery. It is introducing a vertical format live video experience designed with mobile users in mind. Just like Instagram Live sessions are discoverable while swiping through Stories, live videos will be mixed with Shorts. Users who tap into the experience can then swipe through live streams only, if they want to discover other creators.

Live videos in your Shorts feed

Live streams in the Shorts feed will support the usual features of classic YouTube live streams, like Super Chats, channel memberships, and Super Stickers. With most of the features ported over, this could become a great place to discover new creators. Support for live streams like this will roll out in the coming months. Soon, though, YouTube plans to start testing a new feature which allows converting landscape format videos into vertical-format Shorts content. It could come in handy considering many creators take clips from their landscape videos and manually edit them to work well as Shorts and Instagram Reels.

Another Instagram-inspired feature coming to Shorts will make it much easier for creatives to interact with their audiences. With support for more stickers, including Q&A stickers, creators can ask their viewers a question in Shorts and responses to the sticker will show up as comments, which aid engagement. Besides the Q&A sticker, YouTube is adding dozens of other options and new effects to choose from.

You can add interactive stickers to your Shorts

All the new features combined should breathe fresh life into Shorts, which were becoming a tad boring, even for the average doomscroller. Yes, most of the features are Instagram- or TikTok-inspired, but these platforms becoming similar should ease the work for creators while boosting their reach.