YouTube is reportedly testing a new feature called “Reels”, which will be similar to the Stories feature you currently see on Snapchat and Instagram.
TechCrunch reports Reels will be given their own tab, which will be separate from the creator’s main list of video’s. YouTube’s reasoning behind this new feature is similar to the arguments put forth by Facebook and Snap. People want to share content without having to curate, edit and publish a traditional YouTube video. Reels are currently being tested among a small group of the company’s creators and the video-streaming platform has not yet revealed when this new feature will be rolled out to the public.
It is important to note that YouTube’s Reels will be different than traditional Stories. Reels will not disappear after 24 hours and YouTube will let users have multiple Reels, each with their own set of videos. That is different from Instagram and Snapchat, where your posts are temporary and part of one set story.
TechCrunch explains the process of making Reels is as follows: you shoot “a few quick mobile videos of up to 30 seconds each” and can edit them with the filters or by adding music and text. “We’re also bringing creator-focused features like linking to YouTube videos and YouTube-y stickers,” YouTube’s Roy Livne said in a blog post.
This new feature is currently in its initial beta phase and sounds like users will not be forced to view the news-feed of Stories in the same way other apps present the short video functionality. That said, only if users start to “engage with Reels” will YouTube start considering placing them in your main home tab recommendations, according to TechCrunch.
“We’ll be experimenting with a beta version of Reels to learn and improve the product before expanding to more creators,” Livne said.