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YouTube’s looking to help Shorts creators gain more traction for their clips, by suggesting relevant hashtags to add to their Shorts within the upload process.

As explained by YouTube:

To make it easier for Shorts creators to add relevant hashtags to video titles, we’re running an experiment that suggests new hashtags to include when publishing Shorts. If you’re a creator in the experiment, you’ll see suggested hashtags appear in the upload flow on mobile. The suggestions will be custom to your channel as they’re based on content you’ve previously uploaded.”

So the suggested tags won’t be based on AI detection of the content itself – which would be impressive – but will instead be based on the common tags and topics associated with each channel.

Which could still be helpful, though it does depend on what you’re looking to upload, and how often your content stays in line with your regular topics of focus.

I mean, it probably does – YouTube clearly prefers channels to stay in their defined lanes in this respect, and align themselves around certain themes, and if you’re looking to build an audience in the app, that approach also makes the most sense.

With that in mind, these suggested tags could actually help a lot in ensuring you choose the right ones for your clips, and not just the typical, promotional tags, like #Shorts, which is pretty much the same as TikTok’s #ForYou and #FYP tags.

Everyone uses these, and they likely do nothing for your reach – though YouTube’s own explainer on Shorts does suggest that users should include the #Shorts tag ‘to help with discovery’ in the app. That might now be outdated, given that Shorts now has its own section in the app, and all videos under 60 seconds are filtered into it. But again, YouTube does suggest that you include this – we’ve asked YouTube for clarification on whether this is still necessary.

Ideally, however, these new recommendations will start to move publishers away from more generic tags, and towards more targeted segmentation, which will then help YouTube’s algorithms highlight more relevant content to more users.     

YouTube says that a small number of Shorts creators in the US will be included in the initial experiment, which will run on both iOS and Android devices.