The stories are over, at least on YouTube, that is. The Google-owned video site announced today that YouTube Stories will be shutting down on June 26, 2023, as the company aims to focus on other key areas such as short, community posts, and live video, in addition to its long-form. traditional. content. Creators will receive alerts about the closure through various channels, including forum posts, in-app messages, reminders in YouTube Studio and more, YouTube says.
Once copied by almost all social apps, Stories has lost steam in the wake of the rise of TikTok. These days, services are embracing the short-form vertical video format popularized by TikTok instead of the more ephemeral and informal Stories format.
YouTube is not alone in abandoning Stories either. Netflix in previous years had tested a Stories-like feature called “Extras” on its mobile app where it shared videos and photos from popular shows. The streamer later went on to embrace vertical video with the launch of features such as its short form comedy video feed, “Fast Laughs”, and a related vertical video feature geared towards children. LinkedIn also dropped its Stories feature in 2021. And while Spotify recently introduced a Stories-like feature for artist profiles, the app’s biggest redesign is one that prioritizes TikTok-like sources of discovery as its core focus.
First launched in 2018, YouTube officially rolled out Stories to creators with more than 10,000 subscribers, but never expanded access to everyone on YouTube to allow casual, personal sharing to really take off. The company had suggested at the time that creators could use Stories to engage with their audience in between their more polished and produced videos for things like behind-the-scenes updates, vlogs, sneak peeks at upcoming videos, quick updates, and more.
Just like Stories on Instagram and Snapchat, YouTube Stories would disappear after a period of time, in this case 7 days. It was not possible to save Stories to a creator’s profile the way you can with Instagram Story Highlightshowever.
It’s fair to say that the feature saw limited adoption, especially given the success of other engagement tools like community posts, which also allow creators to share quick updates, promote their content, or have conversations with fans. In fact, YouTube essentially admits that Stories weren’t working, noting in today’s announcement that, among creators who used both Stories and Community posts, the latter generated “many times more comments and likes” compared to other Community posts. with the Stories. Access to community posts recently expanded to a broader set of creators, as YouTube removed the 500+ subscriber requirement.
Additionally, creators have shifted their short video efforts to YouTube Shorts. The company notes that this format has also been more successful than Stories, as creators who used both, on average, saw “many times more subscribers” on Shorts than on Stories.
“As the adoption of Shorts on YouTube has grown, we have seen creators benefit from this new format,” a YouTube spokesperson told TechCrunch about the changes. “The stories will disappear so that we can prioritize the key areas that creators need to be successful. We will continue to invest in helping creators grow and connect with their audiences across all formats,” he added.
In addition to a community forum post, creators who frequently use Stories will be alerted about their closure via a notification in YouTube Studio, in Help Center content, and YouTube will remind creators about the changes in an upcoming Creator Insider video, where he regularly posts updates. Plus, there will be a notification directly in Stories, if creators access the feature before June 26.
On that date, it will no longer be possible to create a new YouTube Story, but Stories that are already active will remain active for 7 days after they were originally shared, YouTube says.