Content creators have questions regarding the YouTube Shorts algorithm. And, as Jason Pantana pointed out in a recent Instagram Reel, many are asking whether it makes sense to create a separate channel for Shorts. (We cover the answer below!)

Rapidly-changing algorithms are not a new thing. And keeping up with what is and is not recommended (and why) can be exhausting. 

To clear up the confusion, Search Engine Journal (SEJ) responded to a series of questions on YouTube Shorts, including the one highlighted in Pantana’s post. And their blog included quotes from a YouTube representative. 

Here’s what you need to know. 

Will mixing Shorts and long-form videos harm your growth?

According to YouTube, posting Shorts isn’t likely to compromise the growth of channels established with long-form videos. 

It might actually have the opposite effect. 

We’ve done some analysis recently where we looked at audience growth for channels that only made long-form videos, and channels that made both long-form and short videos. Channels that made Shorts actually seemed to be growing faster.

We anticipate that audience demand for short-form content is here to stay. This is a format that’s becoming increasingly popular, and the very reason we’ve been testing so much in more mobile-first creation tools and Shorts discovery.

YouTube Representative

Can engagement with Shorts boost your long-form videos?

Turns out, each type of video on YouTube has its own recommendation algorithm. Engagement with long-form doesn’t boost (or harm) recommendations for short-form, and vice versa. 

The reason for that is different people have different viewing preferences. Those who enjoy watching your Shorts on YouTube (as well as short-form content on Instagram and TikTok) might have no interest in watching your longer videos. 

For this reason, we separate Shorts and long-form content from watch history. So when someone discovers a new channel via Shorts, we’re not currently using that to inform what longer videos are recommended to them outside of the Shorts experience.

YouTube Representative

Do you need a separate channel for Shorts?

Jason Pantana’s IG Reel focuses mainly on this question: “Can #YouTubeShorts hurt the performance of your long-form YouTube videos?” This obviously relates to the previous question but focuses specifically on the potential for harm (rather than benefit). 

Pantana focuses on three points highlighted in the SEJ blog: 

  • YouTube maintains separate viewer watch histories for Shorts and long-form videos
  • Channels with both long-form and short-form videos grow faster than channels only producing long-form videos. 
  • The only reason to separate channels is to ensure a channel’s videos align with the same specific interest shared by its audience. 

You don’t need to isolate your Shorts in a separate YouTube channel; in fact, doing so could actually hurt your brand’s growth on the platform. The only exception is if your Shorts align with an interest not central to your long-form content. 

Try to group your channels around similar audiences who enjoy the same or similar content. Separate them out when your viewers have totally different interests… If you start building up different audiences with different interests then consider making a separate channel.

YouTube Representative

How many Shorts do I need for YouTube to recommend them?

The final question was whether the YouTube Shorts algorithm requires a certain number of short-form videos on your channel before recommending them. 

According to YouTube, the algorithm recommends every Short produced, regardless of whether it’s your first or the newest addition. That said, having an established audience certainly helps. 

Every Short is given a chance to succeed no matter the channel or the number of videos on the channel. Performance of a Short is dictated by whether or not people are choosing to watch and not skip a video in the Shorts feed. That audience engagement is often built over time as opposed to happening instantaneously.

YouTube Representative

Top takeaways for real estate agents

Short-form video continues to gain traction across all platforms. If you’re an agent creating YouTube Shorts as part of your social media marketing strategy, you now have some insider knowledge of the YouTube algorithm and how it can work for you. 

Keep creating content your audience loves. And check out BAM’s Agent Marketing blogs to stay on top of the latest growth hacks and algorithm changes.