YouTube creators have seen big viewership spikes on short videos as the platform preps its TikTok rival

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YouTube is quietly promoting short videos as it prepares its TikTok rival for US release. Some creators say this has led to a spike in engagement and big audience growth for them.I wrote about the new feature, called Shorts, which allows creators to upload short vertical videos.The full Shorts feature hasn’t launched in the US yet (it’s being officially tested in India), but creators are still able to upload videos that mimic TikToks that can appear in a new “shelf” on the app.Here’s what you need to know about Shorts: Some creators whose videos have been picked up by the Shorts shelf have seen huge success in viewership.But YouTube creators want to know if their viral Shorts will earn them money once the feature develops (right now videos in the shelf don’t have ads).YouTube confirmed that adding #shorts to videos will give them a better chance of being picked up in the special section.”Now that I’ve started posting more Shorts, I’ve found that they can be incredibly viral and they are very shareable,” YouTuber Alex Sibila said. “Some of my Shorts are now my most viewed videos.” Read more about YouTube Shorts here. 

Katie Feeney

Snapchat is also going after TikTok.And some creators who never used Snapchat are now leaning into the platform’s new feature, Spotlight. Dan Whateley, Sydney Bradley, and I spoke with early users who said they’d been paid anywhere from a few thousand dollars to over a million dollars from the feature.But these creators also worried the gold rush would end soon, as more people flock to the feature.Here’s how the Spotlight payout works:Snapchat will reach out to the creator directly on the app about three weeks after their Spotlight goes viral.Then the company will follow up with them over email a few weeks later, confirming the amount. Snapchat uses the payment platform Hyperwallet to pay the creators, and a creator doesn’t need to be famous or even have a public-facing account to make money.Read more about Spotlight here.

Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images; Hollis Johnson/Insider; Samantha Lee/Insider

Instagram influencer Danielle Bernstein sells her branded clothing in stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom. But some designers say her retail empire is partially built on copied designs. Rachel Premack uncovered three new allegations of copying against Bernstein. Two people who worked with Bernstein said she emulated a fabric print from the fashion brand Dolce & Gabbana.One current and several former employees of Onia, a small fashion house specializing in swimwear, said Bernstein had obtained samples from brands and designers and then pushed workers to mimic designs under her own name.One former Onia designer signed an affidavit obtained by Insider alleging that she saw a fellow employee copy a design. Read the full story here.

Amy Vida, cofounder and managing director at Kollyde

Luke Fontana/Kollyde.

Influencer marketing has boomed in China, and Chinese brands are looking to hire influencers overseas.Dan wrote about a new startup called Kollyde, which aims to help Asian multinational brands navigate influencer campaigns in other markets like the US.Kollyde has run cross-border campaigns for consumer tech companies, matching the brands with the Fortnite gamer Lachlan and tech reviewer Marques Brownlee.Read more about the startup here.More creator industry coverage from Insider:This week from Insider’s digital culture team:

Amy Sussman/Invision/AP

YouTuber and TV star JoJo Siwa came out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community in mid-January.Insider reporters Palmer Haasch and Canela López wrote that her coming out marks significant progress in LGBTQ+ representation, particularly in the world of kids’ entertainment.Queer therapists and media experts said that Siwa’s coming out could have a positive impact on kids and parents.”For anyone walking a similar path and who shares similar struggles, she will shine a bright media spotlight and be a beacon of empowerment for the LGBT community,” author Adarsh Vijay Mudgil said.

Read more here.More on digital culture: 

Tyler “Ninja” Blevins on stage at the 2019 Game Awards


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