The YouTube Shorts Creator Community program is an application-based program designed to help select creators grow through utilizing YouTube Shorts. And it just got a bit more selective, according to Business Insider.
What Is The YouTube Shorts Creator Community?
The YouTube Shorts Creator Community program launched about two years ago as a way for YouTube to foster further growth among Shorts creators. YouTube has made a clear focus shift towards short-form vertical video as it competes for watch time with platforms like TikTok and Instagram. The Shorts Creator Community is meant to incentivize promising creators to think about YouTube first when it comes to short-form content.
Most notably, creators who are accepted into the program gain access to a Shorts Community Partner Manager. According to YouTube, "A YouTube Shorts Community Partner Manager’s goal is to educate, uplift, and amplify the Shorts Creator Community – providing access to opportunities that expand creator connections, guide creators on YouTube and Shorts, and empower creators to own their YouTube experience.
These are just a few of the ways YouTube Shorts CPMs can help creators succeed on YouTube:
- Access to a growing network of inspiring creators
- Regular updates on Shorts Best Practices, new features, and topical tips
- Exclusive invitations to creator/industry events and workshops
- Early access to latest product features, launches, and education on new Shorts features
- Opportunity to share feedback directly with the Shorts team"
It's important to know that any qualified creator can apply to be part of the YouTube Shorts Creator Community. If they don't hear back in a month, they're encouraged to apply again in three months.
So What Changed To Make It More Exclusive?
YouTube reportedly booted some creators and tightened ship with additional requirements to be in the program. For starters, creators must post at least once per week. While this doesn't seem like a lot to ask, there are certainly some creators who get on a slightly longer cadence, depending on what they're uploading.
Creators in the YouTube Shorts Creator Community are also expected to actually utilize Shorts functions within the app, like adding text and editing the video natively in the platform. While they didn't expand on the rationale for this, it certainly seems YouTube is trying its best to make sure creators in the program don't necessarily re-upload older videos they've crossposted. It's a bit of a balancing act, here — if YouTube wants people to think of Shorts before the other platforms like TikTok and Instagram, they may also want to consider adding more competitive features to the native version of editing and uploading video.
According to Business Insider, this is part of the email YouTube sent its participating creators:
As Shorts popularity rises, to ensure that we are managing the most engaged and interested creators, we're moving forward with the following criteria for those who would like to remain in the community:
- Post consistently on Shorts (ie. at least 1x a week)
- Use the Shorts camera creation tools to create your Shorts (Ex. add text, add audio, Cut etc.)
- Attend at least 1 community session quarterly"
How Valuable Are Exclusive Programs Like The YouTube Shorts Creator Community?
It's always nice when platforms make a concerted effort to put resources towards education and success on a platform. Obviously there are always additional motives. For instance, the fact that TikTok has small business representatives and Facebook has ad specialists isn't just out of the kindness of their heart — they want businesses to see success on their platforms so they'll continue to invest in advertising on them and using them.
But it can certainly be a symbiotic relationship. And feeling like you have a direct relationship at a platform is a nice motivational boost (even if it's not as directly impactful for your growth as you might expect).
Ultimately, it's probably worth applying if you feel like you can commit to the guidelines. But as we suggest with all platforms, it's important to never put too many eggs in one basket. Obviously YouTube wants creators in the Shorts Creator Community to think about creating on Shorts first. It's a pretty big ask as more and more platforms switch to serving content over the creators themselves.
If other programs and past experience are any indicator, these types of communities are a "nice to have," not a "need to have." They certainly won't be the thing that makes or breaks your success on the platform. But any opportunity to learn further directly from and interactive with a platform should be welcomed.