H2 Social Trends: Short-Form Video

By Henley Worthen · August 09, 2023

Welcome to Part 1 of our 5-part series covering the social video trends we expect to see throughout the remainder of H2 2023. Following the release of our H2 2023 Social Trends report, we’ll take a closer look at essential topics marketers and creators need to know— such as music and sound, ChaptGPT, news broadcasting, and ecommerce on social video.

Today, we’re starting out with the foundational information that will help you build a winning content strategy in all the topics and categories you touch. When, where, and what to post.

Understanding the best posting strategies is the most common problem analysts, marketers, and creators face today. That’s why we looked into Tubular’s social video data to uncover surprising truths about evolving audience preferences.

Long-form vs. short-form videos: The perfect ratio

We always hear the question: “What percentage of their content strategy should be short-form content?” 

The answer is – a good amount. But that will vary depending on your category, whether it be News, Sports, Beauty, or Fashion.

For example, the average percentage of YouTube #Shorts that News broadcasters post is only 15% percent. We chose to look at the News because this particular video category has a lot of room for growth as traditional News publishers learn to navigate the social landscape. 

However, Sports broadcasters have a longer history of reaching audiences via social video. On average, the average Sports creator posts 62% #Shorts and only 38% long-form videos. 

Sports is an interesting category case study to look at because there is an obvious need for long-form content with game clips and post-game interviews. Likewise, many digital-first sports broadcasters have climbed the ranks to compete head-to-head with some of the world’s largest traditional sports broadcasters. 

How have newer digital-first broadcasters risen to the challenge of rivaling long-standing Sports broadcasters? The answer is aggressive growth strategies. 

When we look at an impressive digital-first Sports broadcaster like Overtime, we can see that over the past year, 73% of this creator’s YouTube videos has been #Shorts. By batting over the Sports category’s average benchmark, 62%, the Overtime sporting audience has grown its YouTube reach from 7.8M total views in July 2022 to 94.9M total views in July 2023.

Using Tubular Labs social video analytics, you too can identify your category benchmark ratio of short-form content vs. long-form content. Then, adjust accordingly. You can outsmart your competitors by posting more shorts than others in your industry.

Short-form video content opportunities are full-speed ahead!

Short is good… but how short? 

For the past few years, the shorter the better, has been the motto. It makes sense, of course, with dwindling attention spans and more content than ever posted day after day. 

However, the newest data indicates that audience preferences are slightly changing. For the first time, we are seeing that viewership on videos below one minute is actually in decline.

That’s right… the 7-second video is no longer the honey pot it once was. There’s a new golden opportunity in town and it’s that 1-3 minute video timeframe. 

Let’s look at the data. 

TikTok videos below 60s are still getting the most views compared to 61-180s videos and 180s-600s videos. However, that viewership fell in H1 2023. Within the 61-180s and 180s-600s timeframes, viewership is increasing. 

Both of these slightly longer TikTok timeframes are on the rise and show promise for H2 2023. That said, when you compare the number of videos uploaded within these two timeframes, 61-181s videos have far less uploads (this means way less competition for you!)

With the highest growth rate in viewership and the lowest number of uploads, lean into the 61-180s timeframe to see viewership skyrocket in H2.

Podcast host and TikToker, Bobbi Althoff and her astronomical success in recent months is an incredible example of how 61-180s videos are empowering creators.

The mommy-TikToker started out in 2021 but skyrocketed just this year when she began her podcast, The Really Good Podcast. Now, rather than learning viral dances or posting about her pregnancy experiences, she interviews the hottest rappers and actors in the world. 

Podcasters typically use social video to share clips of their latest episodes and draw viewers in. While some clips might fall under 60 seconds, Bobbi has been finding success in the 61-180s timeframe. In May and June of 2023, the podcaster received 2.3x more views on TikTok videos that were 61-180s than she did on those below 60s. 

In July, she interviewed Lil Yachty and Drake and her popularity soared exponentially. 2 of the 3 most engaged clips of these interviews were longer than 60 seconds. The 3rd was 60 seconds on the dot. 


While we are currently only a week into August 2023, The Really Good Podcast host has posted 3 videos in the 61-180s range that have earned an average 7.2M views per video. 

These short videos help drive traffic to Apple, Spotify, and YouTube where audiences can access full episodes of Bobbi’s podcast.  

Video lengths and posting frequencies are the seemingly small factors that affect the success of your content strategy. It’s not one size fits all. Many publishers and marketers spend a loft of time figuring out what works best.

With Tubular, this process can be made simple with insights into industry benchmarks and analytics that tell you what your competitors are doing. If your competitors are winning on social, what do you need to do to outpace them? The answers are in the data.

For more H2 Social Video Trends on topics like ChatGPT and TikTok sounds, download the full report here: H2 2023 Social Video Trends

Look out for the next four parts of our H2 Social Video Trends series. Next week we’re dishing on social trends surrounding ChatGPT!

Be ahead of the curve in
the age of video.