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YouTube has announced a range of new analytics and display options in its first Creator Insider update of the year, including new data on subscriber growth, Shorts thumbnails, new subscriber recognition options, and more.

First off, YouTube’s adding a new element to YouTube Studio which will display a breakdown of subscribers gained by each content type, providing more context on video performance.

YouTube analytics update

To be clear, creators have been able to access this more in-depth growth breakdown via YouTube Analytics in the past, but now, YouTube’s bringing this data up-front, which will make it easier to see how each video, and video format, is contributing to your YouTube channel growth.  

Which is pretty clearly aligned with Shorts, and the growth of short video clips in the app. As YouTube looks to expand the usage of short-form content, it also wants to better highlight to creators just how popular the format is, and these insights could help to provide more perspective in this respect.

On a related front, YouTube is also adding a new display of what content your audience is watching across format types on the YouTube Studio mobile app.

YouTube analytics update

As you can see in this example, the new format will break down viewer history by Shorts, videos and live-streams, which, again, will provide more context as to what your audience is interested in.

As per YouTube:

To see this card, go to studio analytics, audience tab, and filter videos your audience watches by content type. The goal is to give creators a better understanding of what types of content their audience is watching to help with inspiration and keep an eye on what is happening in their space. This may be especially insightful for formats a creator has not tried yet or does not publish often. For example, shorts, live, et cetera, et cetera.”

So, again, Shorts is the focus.

The rapid growth of short-form video has made this a key growth element for YouTube, and it now needs to get more creators uploading Shorts to feed into that demand.

More specifically on Shorts, YouTube’s also rolling out a new option that will enable Shorts creators to select a frame from their Short to be used as a thumbnail during the initial upload process.

YouTube Shorts thumbnails

That will give Shorts creators another way to customize their content, and maximize response, while YouTube also notes that it’s working on new ways to further customize Shorts thumbnails in future.

The option to select a frame for your Shorts thumbnail is only available on Android at this stage.

YouTube’s also revising its member recognition shelf display, which features selected avatars of members on channel pages.

“We’re now experimenting with extending the member recognition shelf to video descriptions on mobile where it would be part of the info card section. The goal is to increase new member signups. Creators will have the option to disable the member recognition shelf in description in studio.”

YouTube analytics update

And lastly, YouTube’s also adding video thumbnails and content length in YouTube analytics advanced mode, providing more context on specific video performance.

A few interesting tweaks, with Shorts, again, being the main focus of YouTube’s next-level push.

If you were wondering where YouTube is looking, it’s pretty clear from these announcements – which likely suggests that you should probably be uploading Shorts in 2023 to best align with YouTube’s focus.