Google Brings Advertising to YouTube Shorts

Like Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts is a clear TikTok imitation. Now it has TikTok's ads as well. Can your business benefit?
Adam Rowe

Google will include ads in YouTube Shorts globally, and has already started rolling them out, the company has announced.

As of now, advertisers running video action campaigns and app campaigns will see their ads automatically added to Shorts, with more shoppable options added later in the year.

It's a move that further aligns YouTube Shorts with TikTok, which has shoppable ads that let users see a product without clicking out of the app.

YouTube Shorts Gets Ads

YouTube launched its Shorts micro-video platform in 2020, but hasn't included ads up until now. With this change, creators will be able to monetize their Shorts videos, while advertisers will be able to reach a new audience.

Later in the year, they will also gain the ability to add product feeds to make video ads on YouTube Shorts more shoppable, according to the announcement.

“We've been experimenting with ads in YouTube Shorts since last year, and we’re now gradually rolling that out to all advertisers around the world. This is an exciting milestone for advertisers, and a key step on our road to developing a long-term YouTube Shorts monetization solution for our creators, which we'll share more about soon,” writes Jerry Dischler, Vice President and General Manager, Ads.

The YouTube Shorts service is for short-form videos, unlike the ten-minute-long or more videos that have been the video-sharing services bread and butter for years. Like Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts is a clear TikTok imitation.

Of course, TikTok recently added the ability to create ten-minute-long videos, so everyone's copying everyone over here.

What More Ads Mean

Businesses that see benefits from shoppable ads but don't have a large audience on TikTok have been looking for a viable alternative.

YouTube's a good one. Its advertising numbers are some of the biggest in the business, given that the service is the most used social media platform ever in the US.

And, as Google was quick to point out in the announcement post, the YouTube Shorts service now averages over 30 billion daily views — and that metric has quadrupled across the previous year. It seems fair to say that there's an untapped potential here for a business that knows it's audience.

We can't guide any business managers through how the shoppable ads options work right now, since they're so new, but if they sound like a potential windfall for your operation, keep your eyes open. One area we can help in? Marketing tools to help you keep all your business's social media marketing strategies straight across all platforms.

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Adam is a writer at Tech.co and has worked as a tech writer, blogger and copy editor for more than a decade. He's also a Forbes Contributor on the publishing industry, for which he was named a Digital Book World 2018 award finalist. His work has appeared in publications including Popular Mechanics and IDG Connect, and he has an art history book on 1970s sci-fi coming out from Abrams Books in 2022. In the meantime, he's hunting own the latest news on VPNs, POS systems, and the future of tech.

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