Skip to content
Get Your Demo
Start Your Trial
32 min read | March 16, 2021

What's new on YouTube in 2021

YouTube is the second website that people all over the world visit the most, right after Google. The video platform is also second in the list of social platforms used most across the world. YouTube sees a massive media consumption of billion hours of video on a daily basis, worldwide.

The range in content variety and the ease of content creation make YouTube one of the most-preferred video platforms for content consumers and content creators alike. From spiritual videos and movies to beauty tutorials, gaming channels, and product/ brand reviews, YouTube has content for brands, businesses, and all types of consumers.

Social Network

YouTube Impact During the Pandemic

In the first few weeks into the pandemic, YouTube witnessed a 25% increase in total watch time of its videos. While the decoration gained popularity among housebound adults, children spent their time on YouTube Kids. The kids’ platform now has a weekly user statistic of 35 million. It was only 20 million in the middle of 2019.

Another significant way in which YouTube enabled consumers and content creators to use the platform is by taking offline events virtual. Consider this statistic: over 500, 000 channels opted for livestreaming in 2020. The early months of 2020 saw, as a result, a 45% increase in YouTube Live streams, daily.

A Stiff Competition from TikTok and Twitch

2020 not only witnessed an increase in YouTube video consumption, it also showed a new channel for content creators and consumers. TikTok transformed the way users viewed and created content.

TikTok has 800 million users around the world, according to 2020 statistics. The platform ranks 9th in terms of popularity among social media platforms. It is interesting to note that TikTok gained its active users faster than other social media channels. Instagram, for example, gained as many users as TikTok had in less than 3 years, in 6 years. Facebook took 4 years to reach the mark.

During the pandemic period, TikTok grew further in popularity. The video app was downloaded 2 billion times by people across the world as of April 2020.

TikTok has 800 million users worldwide

Again, in the initial quarter of 2020, the app downloads reached 315 million downloads worldwide.

This statistic shows a massive 58% increase compared to the app’s previous quarter statistics. Also, the download mark achieved by TikTok is the highest ever to be achieved by any app in a specific quarter.

One of the key reasons for the success of TikTok is the ease it delivers to users. Making a video has never been so easy for anyone. TikTok has made it easy for any individual to become a content creator. This ease delivers a formidable competitive edge to the content-creating app.

Twitch is a video live-streaming platform designed for gamers. Apart from gaming content, Twitch also focuses on content such as food, travel, talk shows, music and sports. Creators can broadcast their content of interest, live or recorded, for others to watch in real-time.

Launched in 2011, the live-streaming platform garnered an impressive 3.8 million unique content broadcasters, according to February 2020 statistics.

Twitch, the live video streaming platform

Twitch’ competitive element is its live-streaming ability. The platform is creating massive opportunity for content creators. It is also facilitating community-building around a common interest.

Failure of YouTube Rewind

Not all has been roses for YouTube though. YouTube received massive backlash for its YouTube Rewind video series. The annual series is a compilation of all things that were a hit on YouTube during the previous year. The series, however, received a severe backlash, the most in 2018. The backlash continued in 2019 with viewers inundating the video platform with dislikes. Rewind 2020 was cancelled following the pandemic.       

YouTube Rewind

YouTube Remained the Top Gainer in 2020

Despite the competition from other content influencers, YouTube continued to wield the upper hand in 2020. The video-sharing platform was second among the most popular social media platforms around the world in 2020. YouTube recorded an active 2 billion users for the year.

2021 will see YouTube making changes aimed at making content creation easier and content more efficient, for users. The platform is also set to launch new offshoots to add more variety to its content. The livestreaming element is about to witness a change with High-Dynamic-Range or HDR, being added to the cards, for video support.

The video content platform is set to offer more content curation options for its YouTube Kids. Parents will, as a result, get to add content that will otherwise not be available on the app.

YouTube Kids

YouTube TV will reach users with an attractive add-on package that includes 4K resolution viewing, unlimited video streaming, and ability to download videos for offline viewing.

So, what’s new on YouTube in 2021? Let us take a closer look:

1.YouTube Chapters

This feature allows users to break their videos into individual chapters, similar to lessons in a book. The platform has now made this service automatic. It now employs an AI-based technology to automatically make chapters out of lengthy videos in case the creator has not done it on his/ her own.

YouTube chapters

The benefits of this functionality 

Makes it easier for users to consume lengthy videos such as instructional content. Users can watch a video chapter by chapter.

Brands, on the other hand, can use the opportunity to create engaging videos without worrying that the video length may lower user experience.

Chapters also help brands to create SEO-friendly content. Chapters allow more precise keyword inclusions and the latest information (because chapters are time-stamped during creation). As a result, only the latest and the most relevant results show up on search, which enhances user experience. 

2. YouTube Shorts

A competitor to TikTok style of video-consumption, YouTube Shorts involves creation of short videos spanning 15 seconds or less. Making videos is simple as users can make videos with their smartphones and upload it.

YouTube short videos

The benefits of this functionality 

Transforms video-making experience for users. Artists and creators can create concise and catchy videos easily using just their mobile phones. For users, Shorts widens the variety in content. It makes the content experience faster, intelligent and enjoyable.

Brands can engage target audiences with short catchy videos. Web users have short attention spans. Shorter videos help attract their attention. You can convey your brand message or product information more efficiently with Shorts videos.

The impact created by well-developed shorter videos can be enormous. People are more likely to carry shorter videos in their minds, which leads to improved brand retention. Brands can build an engaged community with interesting Shorts videos.

Shorts video format allows for greater flexibility for brands. They can develop brad-oriented videos, product-related tips, company BTS videos, or other catchy content.

Shorts saves time for businesses. Marketers need not allot extensive resources and time-consuming techniques to create video. A smartphone and an interesting script are enough to do the job.

3. Better YouTube Accounts Management

A significant change in YouTube 2021 services is greater efficiency of account management. If you are a business or individual with multiple YouTube channels, then you can link these two channels using a single Gmail address.

Better management of YouTube accounts

The benefits of this functionality 

Saves time for brands and individuals. Users can use the platform’s User Roles and YouTube Permissions sections to manage different accounts.

Brands, in particular, can achieve greater control over content distribution. They can limit employee as well as user access to information. The Manager level, for example, has the highest level of content freedom. They get to decide the permissions for other users.

4. YouTube Applause

YouTube’s new feature allows viewers to donate for their favorite videos through Applause. If viewers like a creator’s video, then they can click Applaud. An automatic donation goes to the creator. 70% of the amount goes to the creator while YouTube takes 30%.

Applause is an extension of the video platform’s earlier Super Chat. While Super Chat is streamer-specific, Applause is available for any YouTube video.  

Applause on YouTube

The benefits of this functionality 

Is a revenue-generating opportunity for content creators and channel owners for whom advertising revenue is a constant challenge.

Applause also increases content and brand visibility and bridges the gaps between fans and content creators.

5. Integrated Purchasing

Another new feature on the anvil is YouTube’s Integrated Purchasing. This feature enables users to buy products they view on YouTube videos, directly from the platform. Select YouTube videos will feature products for sale. The feature is at the pilot stage currently.

Integrated purchasing in YouTube

The benefits of this functionality 

Shoppers can make a well-informed purchase decision as they get to view all relevant information in the video. In specific, shoppers will be presented with details and videos regarding the product. They can also view different purchase options available for the product.

6. Increase in Advertising Space

Visibility for brands will now increase as all YouTube videos will carry advertisements. Viewers interested in a non-ad experience can benefit from YouTube Premium, the platform’s paid subscription service.

Increase in advertising space YouTube

Optimize your YouTube channel for 2021

It is crucial for businesses to be aware of the changes the video platform has made to its policies. It should be noted that YouTube closed 8, 000+ channels and over thousands of videos in 2020 for policy violation.

So, how do you ensure that your business makes the best returns on YouTube in 2021?

Here’s how you can optimize your YouTube channel for 2021 through its new functionalities:

  • 2021 will see YouTube focusing more on video content quality than on subscriber strength. YouTube algorithms are changing to bring newer and informative videos so that no good content goes unmissed. Videos will now be filtered on parameters such as view duration and click-through rates.

  • 2021 will see viewers gaining more control over their content experience. Viewers can report a bad ad experience and share their feedback after watching a video. YouTube aims to encourage creators and channels to deliver engaging content that people would love to watch.

  • 2021 will see new monetization avenues opening up for content creators and channels. Currently, it is only YPP or the YouTube Partner Program, which requires participating members to fulfil specific conditions for eligibility.

  • In 2021, channels and creators will have to be specific about their content audience. They will have to state clearly if a video or YouTube channel is children-friendly. YouTube reviews every video in its database for clear audience definitions. Any mismatch between content and audience declaration can get your video or channel closed.

  • YouTube video Chapters are becoming more popular. Break your videos into chapters so that your viewers get the exact information they are looking for. In 2021, video chapters will be displayed on search pages for recommended videos.

  • 2021 will see YouTube Shorts reaching the rest of the world. YouTube has the distinct advantage over TikTok here with its massive viewership.

Videos are now a marketing staple. They are more effective at making people take notice of your brand, product, or marketing message. 90% of consumers say that they find new products and brands through YouTube.

With YouTube widening the opportunities to reach consumers, businesses cannot afford missing the moment. From impacting audiences with shorter videos to making their video experiences safer and engaging, be ready to walk along with YouTube.

The takeaway for 2021? Focus on making good videos and present them in a way that improves your audience’s viewing experience. 

Other posts you might be interested in

View All Posts