How Long Can a YouTube Short Be? Best Practices

How Long Can a YouTube Short Be? Best Practices

Launched nearly four years ago, YouTube Shorts is quickly becoming a major player in short-form video, competing with platforms like TikTok and Instagram.

As a feature within the main YouTube interface, shorts grab viewers’ attention with quick, engaging content, providing creators with a great platform to showcase their talents. Whether you’re a seasoned creator or just starting with YouTube shorts, figuring out the right video duration is crucial.

In 2023, the overall short-form video ad revenue was expected to cross $10 billion. This shows that short-form video content platforms hold massive potential for monetization. With YouTube Shorts ranking as the second largest short-form video platform, it is a fantastic place to generate content.

This guide covers the basics of YouTube shorts, including duration restrictions and best practices to enhance your videos. Let’s get started!

Optimal Duration for YouTube Shorts: Exploring the Ideal Length

As of October 2023, YouTube Shorts had 70 million views per day. This platform’s huge viewer base opens up doors for high-level engagement and business opportunities.

YouTube shorts are designed to be engaging and brief, so to answer how long a YouTube short can be, the ideal duration typically ranges from 15 to 60 seconds. This short time frame aligns with the platform’s focus on quick and captivating content.

While the most-viewed YouTube shorts are less than a minute but more than 30 seconds, the platform’s algorithm favors shorter videos. It goes without saying that a content creator’s journey on YouTube Short will be centered around the balance between delivering quality content and keeping it concise.

So, make sure you experiment with different durations to see what works best for your content and audience. Also, consider the following tips to help determine the optimal duration for your YouTube shorts:

  • Quick Start: Begin your YouTube short with engaging content right from the start. Viewers should be captivated within the first few seconds to encourage them to watch the entire video.
  • Clear Message: Ensure that your message or content is conveyed clearly within the chosen duration. A concise and focused message is more likely to resonate with viewers.
  • Visual Appeal: Leverage visually appealing elements in your shorts. Catchy visuals, dynamic editing, and creative use of colors can enhance viewer engagement within a short timeframe.
  • Audience Feedback: Pay attention to audience feedback through comments, likes, and shares. This can provide valuable insights into what your audience enjoys and help you tailor the duration of your future shorts.

Factors That Affect the Duration of YouTube Shorts

While we have rounded off the answer to how long a YouTube short can be down to 30–60 seconds, multiple factors influence your YouTube short based on what you create and who is listening.

Here are four key factors that go a long way in deciding the length of your YouTube:


Different types of content naturally occupy different durations. Educational shorts may need a slightly longer duration to be effective, and entertainment-focused shorts often perform in shorter formats, leveraging quick and catchy storytelling.

For instance, if you’re delivering a tutorial or educational content, you might find that your audience benefits from a slightly extended duration, perhaps reaching the upper limit of 60 seconds. On the other hand, entertaining and attention-grabbing content tends to thrive in shorter bursts, making use of swift and engaging storytelling.

Nature of the Message

The duration of YouTube shorts also depends on the complexity and depth of the message you want to convey. Content that needs in-depth exploration will require longer videos. If the content message is crisp, then keeping it short is vital.

For example, if your YouTube short aims to teach a step-by-step DIY home improvement project, the intricacies involved might require a slightly longer duration to provide thorough guidance. In this case, a duration nearing the upper limit of 60 seconds could be justified to ensure viewers grasp each detail without feeling rushed.

Conversely, imagine your content revolves around a quick life hack or a brief comedic skit. In such cases, the message is concise and benefits from a shorter format, allowing viewers to quickly understand and enjoy the content without the need for a prolonged explanation.

Audience Demographics

Understanding who is listening is crucial. Amongst the various age groups and demographics, delivering content according to their preferences will affect the duration of your YT shorts.

For example, if your target audience is younger and accustomed to consuming content in shorter bursts, keeping your YouTube short on the brief side may align better with their viewing habits.

On the other hand, if your audience comprises individuals who prefer more in-depth content or belong to a demographic that generally engages with longer-form videos, adjusting the duration accordingly becomes essential.

Best Practices YouTube Shorts: Nailing the Perfect Time

With the impact of YouTube Shorts and the factors that you must consider while deciding the duration that suits you most, here are four must-incorporate best practices that will give way to the perfect video:

Story and Timing Go Hand in Hand

Do not forget that, while you do have only 60 seconds, conveying a compelling message or story should never take the back seat. Embrace the challenge of delivering engaging content in a crisp manner.  

Deploy Quick Hooks

Make sure that your content uses hooks that draw in viewer interest within the first few seconds. With this, you will be able to clearly and calmly communicate your message without constantly looking at the clock during editing.

Evolve through Experimentation

Whether you’re a veteran or a newcomer, don’t shy away from embracing change. Feel free to experiment with your content to find what resonates better with your audience, brand image, or content message.

Make Use of YouTube Analytics

Metrics like watch time, click-through rates, and audience retention that are accessible via YouTube Analytics can help you observe how your audience behaves with different content durations.

Improvements through Engagement

Be it in tutorials, product features, testimonials, or events, keep an eye on what your viewers are saying. Following the audience interactions and feedback will show you if there is scope for switching a specific type of content to better utilize your set video length or even reduce it.

Keep in Touch with Algorithm Updates

The YouTube algorithm undergoes changes from time to time, and staying in touch with these updates will allow you to adjust your content seamlessly.

Collaborating Is Good

Don’t shy away from some teamwork; collaborating with other content creators can broaden your perspective on their methodologies and their audience traits.

Apart from the increased traction your content can gain with collaboration, it can also help you learn what video length and storytelling focuses can appeal to diverse audiences and potential consumers. 

Before Your Final Edit

In 2024, mastering delivering content and expanding your reach lies in penetrating the ever-growing short-form video content platforms. With 70 million daily views, YouTube Shorts is a wave you must ride to maximize visibility.

One of the most derisive aspects of YouTube content is unarguably delivering quality content within the 60-second limitation for your video length. It not only requires creativity but also demands a precise and impactful approach to convey your message effectively.

With‘s advanced features, you can craft captivating YouTube shorts and enhance user engagement in 2024. This platform empowers you to create shorts in over 18 languages while also facilitating the generation of captions and hashtags, streamlining your content creation process. Sign up for a account today!

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Tanmay Ratnaparkhe

Co-founder, 2X Entrepreneur, tech enthusiast, and SaaS expert, specializing in Instagram marketing and AI. With a knack for leveraging technology for marketing success, they share valuable insights and strategies to boost your digital presence and productivity.