YouTube Shorts is designed to be simplistic and familiar to use. Creators can use a variety of editing features to make their videos stand out, including:
Users can access Shorts through a tab at the bottom home screen menu on YouTube. They are viewed through downward scrolling, exactly like TikTok and Reels. There is no pause feature and videos automatically play while a user scrolls. A product manager working on YouTube Shorts claimed it is designed to keep users “swiping forever”. The videos within a feed are decided on by YouTube’s algorithms. Users have no control over the videos that will appear. This may be affected by the videos a user watches within their normal feed, as well as a user’s personal data (covered by YouTube’s GDPR agreements).
Users can comment on Shorts, even if they are not a creator within the beta testing. Anyone who is signed in can like or dislike a Short, a reflection of liking or disliking YouTube videos. Users can interact with other users as well as the Shorts creator through comments and messaging. Comments can be disabled on videos, though it is unclear if Shorts will be subject to YouTube’s comment ban on videos featuring children. Users can also report specific Shorts to developers.
If someone is not signed into a YouTube account, they can still view Shorts and the comments left on them. They are also able to report videos and share them to other social media pages. They cannot, however, leave comments. A user does not need to have any subscribers to create a short.