YouTube Axes Stories Feature and Encourages Creators to Make Shorts

The service officially shuts down June 26

YouTube is shutting down its Stories platform, a feature influencers use to make temporary video posts.

Stories was first unveiled back in 2017 and officially shutters on June 26. At that point, any pre-existing videos will permanently expire after seven days. To those users still engaging with YouTube Stories, the company suggests moving to the newer Shorts feature or simply engaging with Community posts to interact with followers. YouTube says both are "great alternatives that can deliver valuable audience connections and conversations." 

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Unsplash/Souvik Banerjee

Stories never really caught on, perhaps due to some inherent limitations. The Stories tool, which started under the name Reels, was only available to YouTube users with over 10,000 subscribers. Stories also disappear after a set amount of time, a feature lifted from Snapchat. 

As for Shorts, this is YouTube’s answer to TikTok and has gained a fair amount of traction since launching in 2020. The video-based social media platform has also recently invested more in its Community toolset, expanding access to more creators and integrating many of the features originally used to create Stories. For instance, there are some rich editing tools and the ability to set posts to expire automatically after 24 hours. Community posts are primarily text-based, so YouTube has added new engagement features like polls, quizzes, filters, and stickers.

YouTube is not the first major entity to shut down its riff on the Snapchat story format. Twitter had its own version, called Fleets, that was axed within a year after launching.

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