YouTube is adopting the “stories” format made popular by Instagram and Snapchat, but with its own spin.
The new feature is called “Reels,” and will allow creators to take advantage of a dedicated tab inside their channel’s page to put stacks of 30-second clips there to share with their audience.
Creators can shoot video from within the app, and then do some basic editing like adding text, filters, stickers, or some background music.
Reels won’t be displayed at the top of the app, so they won’t have the same prominence as stories have on Facebook’s services and Snapchat, but YouTube told TechCrunch that it might reconsider their position if the feature takes off.
There’s also another major difference: Videos inside Reels won’t disappear after 24 hours, as stories normally do, and won’t need to be under a centralised feed either.
This means that youtubers will be able to create multiple, topic-based Reels, and fill them up at will for people to enjoy at any time — putting the focus of Reels on the content’s story rather than the person’s.
YouTube said that the feature will first arrive in beta, but didn’t specify a date, say how long it plans for it to stay in beta, or which creators will get to use Reels first.