YouTube unveils Reels, its take on the popular Stories format

Google announced Wednesday via the official YouTube Creators blog a brand new Reels feature, basically its spin on the popular Stories as seen on Snapchat and Instagram.

With Reels, YouTubers can express themselves without having to post a full video.

Designed specifically for creators, the Reels section will appear in brand new tab on their channel rather than live at the top of the app’s interface.

It’s pretty straightforward: after shooting a few quick videos of up to 30 seconds each, creators can then add some filters, music, text and new YouTube-y stickers before publishing their Reel.

Plus, they can create multiple Reels and have them not expire, link these short video snippets to longer YouTube videos and more. As for viewers, they can thumb up or down Reels they see as they do regular videos, comment on the Reel posts in the Community tab and more.

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TechCrunch has more on how this works:

Since Reels are posted to a separate tab on the creator’s channel, similar to Community itself, viewers could choose to go watch these new videos or not. But if users engage with Reels, then YouTube will take that as a signal that you’d like to see them more often.

That could trigger their appearance on the viewer’s YouTube home page as recommendations, YouTube tells us.

Reels will soon be introduced into beta for a handful of creators for further testing.

“Just like we did with Community, we’ll be experimenting with a beta version of Reels to learn and improve the product before expanding to more creators,” said the firm. Because the upcoming video format is still being tested, it could change ahead of a public release.