YouTube Stories to Shut Down on June 26, 2023, as Company Focuses on Shorts
YouTube Stories, the short-form video feature introduced by the Google-owned video platform in 2018, will be shutting down on June 26, 2023. The decision to discontinue YouTube Stories comes as the company shifts its focus toward other key areas such as Shorts, Community posts, and live videos, in addition to its traditional long-form content. Creators will receive notifications regarding the shutdown through various channels including forum posts, in-app messages, reminders in YouTube Studio, and more, according to YouTube.
Once a popular format that was adopted by nearly every social media app, Stories has seen a decline in popularity with the rise of TikTok. Services are now favoring the short-form vertical video format popularized by TikTok instead of the more transient and casual Stories format.
YouTube is not alone in abandoning Stories, as other platforms have also made similar moves. Netflix had previously tested a Stories-like feature called “Extras” in its mobile app, which showcased videos and photos from popular shows. However, the streaming giant shifted its focus to embrace vertical video with the introduction of features like “Fast Laughs,” a short-form comedy videos feed, and a vertical video feature tailored for kids. LinkedIn also abandoned its Stories feature in 2021, while Spotify recently introduced a feature similar to Stories for artists’ profiles but primarily prioritizes TikTok-like discovery feeds in its app redesign.
When YouTube initially launched Stories, access was limited to creators with over 10,000 subscribers, thus preventing casual and personal sharing from gaining significant traction. The feature was intended for creators to engage with their audience in between their more polished and produced videos, offering behind-the-scenes updates, vlogs, sneak peeks at upcoming content, quick updates, and more. Unlike Instagram’s Story Highlights, YouTube Stories would disappear after a week and couldn’t be saved on a creator’s profile.
However, the adoption of YouTube Stories remained limited, especially when compared to other engagement tools like Community posts, which allowed creators to share quick updates, promote content, and interact with fans. YouTube acknowledged the lackluster performance of Stories, stating that creators who used both Stories and Community posts received “many times more comments and likes” through the latter. Recently, YouTube expanded access to Community posts to a wider range of creators by removing the previous requirement of having more than 500 subscribers.
Furthermore, creators have increasingly shifted their focus towards YouTube Shorts, the platform’s short-form video format. YouTube acknowledges that Shorts has been more successful than Stories, with creators who used both formats experiencing “many times more subscribers” through Shorts. A YouTube spokesperson stated that the decision to discontinue Stories is driven by the success and adoption of Shorts, as the company aims to prioritize the areas that creators need to thrive. YouTube remains committed to investing in helping creators grow and connect with their audiences across different formats.
Creators who frequently utilize Stories will be informed of the shutdown through notifications in YouTube Studio, Help Center content, and an upcoming Creator Insider video, where YouTube regularly shares updates. Additionally, a notification will be directly displayed in the Stories feature for creators who access it before June 26. After the shutdown date, it will no longer be possible to create new YouTube Stories. However, existing Stories will remain life for a duration of seven days from the time of their original sharing, according to YouTube’s announcement.
As YouTube focuses its efforts on Shorts and other engagement tools, creators can look forward to new opportunities and features that will further enhance their ability to reach and connect with their audiences.