In an effort to encourage adoption of YouTube Shorts, YouTube is planning to pay creators over the course of 2021-2022 as part of a $100 million fund. YouTube Shorts recently became available to everyone in the U.S. and India.

YouTube said it’s planning to reach out to thousands of creators every month whose Shorts receive the most engagements and views. The cash incentive is to reward creators for their contributions. Critically, you won’t need to be part of the YouTube Partner Program, as anyone is eligible to receive a piece of the pie by creating unique Shorts “that delight the YouTube community.”

It’s unclear how much YouTube plans to give individual creators, and if creators can earn money in consecutive months. Currently, YouTube Shorts doesn’t offer a built-in way for creators to earn money, but YouTube said this is the first step toward monetizing the feature.

YouTube Shorts player on a black background

YouTube Shorts player on a black background

Image: YouTube

“This is a top priority for us, and will take us some time to get it right,” YouTube said. “We are actively working on this, and will take feedback gathered from our community to help develop a long-term program specifically designed for YouTube Shorts.”

Additionally, YouTube will soon start making YouTube Shorts a more prominent part of the platform.

“We’ll expand our Shorts player across more surfaces on YouTube to help people find new creators, artists and Shorts to enjoy,” YouTube said. “We will also begin to test and iterate on ads to better understand their performance.”

To prepare for a possible influx of new interest in the platform, YouTube Shorts is adding new features, including auto captions, the ability to record up to 60 seconds with the Shorts camera, and the ability to add clips from your phone’s gallery.

YouTube’s plan to pay YouTube Shorts creators escalates a battle for eyeballs in the short-form video market, which is currently dominated by TikTok.

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