Short form video is all the rage, and has been for a while. Just look at the meteoric rise of not only Tiktok, but also Youtube shorts, and reels on Instagram and Facebook. But why is it so popular?
On the one hand, the concept of instant gratification has been around for a while. So, when people go and look for entertainment, not all of them are willing to wait half an hour for a plot to unfold far enough to enjoy the story.
We also see this trend in how quickly people leave websites if they feel they won’t get what they want from it, and of course the popularity of Twitter and Threads.
Not to mention that, on social media, the number of people leaving comments is a fraction of the number of people leaving likes.
It appears the general attitude is one of “move on as quickly as possible“.
But there is another reason why short form video is doing well:
People are discovering the value of their time…
Especially their free time.
They want to have the best entertainment possible in as little time as they have. They may be on a smoke break, or wait in line for a cup of coffee – and only have a few minutes to spare. if they spend all of those precious five minutes on one video, and they don’t like it, it is time wasted.
However, if they are watching Tiktok videos of half a minute each, they have ten opportunities to be entertained in the same five minutes.
Or, if you are looking for some very specific, to-the-point information, your chances of finding what you are looking for increases exponentially if you can watch 5 or more short form videos in the time it would normally take you to watch one.
There is, however, yet another reason why so many people prefer short form content:
The internet is one huge bulging mass of information and entertaining content. Even if you are very specific in what you search for, chances are that you will never be able to watch everything you search for in your lifetime.
That is even more true when it comes to long form videos – which just gobbles up so much more of your time.
After all, in the time it takes you to watch one movie, you can watch 250 or more Instagram reels or 120+ Youtube shorts.
Not to mention that, unlike with watching the movie (which you find out is not that good – after ten minutes), you are free to refine your search (or change it) as many times as you like during those two hours you would have spent on watching a movie.
Watching short form videos allows people to access more content from more different creators – and on more varying topics in the same time – than watching longer videos.
Fair enough, the informational value of each video is minimal compared to say, a webinar. But when the users value their time more than they value your information…
You know where their attention will go.
So, where does the popularity of short form videos leave YOU?
First off, it leaves you with more chances of your content being discovered – purely because viewers consume more videos in one sitting.
Secondly, don’t try to “say everything” in one minute. Just hook the viewer, and move the interaction to your website.
Yes, the success rate is low, but if you consider how easy it is to rack up view counts on short form video (and how quick and easy is it to produce), it is definitely worth it.