YouTube has laid out its 2022 roadmap for shopping features, Shorts and other updates for brands and creators in a blog post by Chief Product Officer Neal Mohan on Thursday. While Mohan did not go into specific detail, he did provide a useful overview of what to expect from YouTube this year.
More robust shopping experiences. Shopping capabilities will expand via shoppable videos, Live Shopping and via the user interface of the YouTube app.
Shorts. YouTube plans to keep adding features to its Shorts format, the platform’s answer to TikTok and Instagram’s Reels. In addition to new effects and editing tools, YouTube plans to introduce the ability to reply to individual comments by creating another Short (similar to TikTok).
YouTube is also exploring monetization options for this format. In the coming months, it plans to test BrandConnect for Shorts creators, integration of the Super Chat feature (in which viewers can purchase visually distinct chat messages) as well as the ability to shop directly from a Short.
New insights for creators. New insights will be added to YouTube Studio. Mohan did not go into detail about what to expect from these new analytics capabilities other than that they’re meant to help “generate concrete content ideas for upcoming videos.”
Other updates for brands and creators. Channel guidelines, which can help creators influence the tone of conversations on their channel, are currently being tested.
Collaborative livestreaming will also be introduced, enabling creators to go live with other creators.
And, YouTube has begun testing gifted memberships, which allow viewers to purchase channel memberships for other viewers in a livestream.
Why we care. More shopping experiences across YouTube likely mean more places to surface products for viewers. Those product ads will likely leverage Google Merchant Center data feeds, making it more useful for advertisers while strengthening Google’s ecosystem.
The new Shorts features may help it compete against TikTok and Instagram. Being able to reply via a Short can keep users engaged on the platform for longer. And, monetization options for creators may also help drive adoption as well as influencer marketing opportunities on YouTube.
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