Olivia Harvey
December 01, 2017 10:14 am

Get ready social media aficionados: YouTube is introducing its own take on the “Stories” feature you know and love from Instagram and Snapchat. YouTube’s version is called “Reels” and will soon be released to a handful of creators for beta testing.

In a November 29th blogpost, the video platform introduced Reels alongside its expansion of the app’s Community tab to creators with over 100,000 subscribers. The company has been testing their Community feature since last fall. The Community tab, available on a creator’s channel, connects creators with fans between uploads and acts like a mini Facebook or Twitter within YouTube.

The blogpost noted that the new Reels feature has been designed specifically for YouTube creators. According to TechCrunch, Reels clips can be up to 30-seconds long and will appear in their own tab, separate from Community.

"We learned that you want the flexibility to create multiple Reels and have them not expire, so we’ll give you those options," the blogpost reads. "We’re also bringing creator-focused features like linking to YouTube videos and YouTube-y stickers."

YouTube told TechCrunch that they wanted to introduce a new way for creators to interact with fans and express themselves without having to upload a full video.

Reels will look like the above GIF at launch, but might change before its release to the public.

YouTube has also updated its Community feature to improve discoverability. Now creators’ “most engaged viewers can now see Community posts in the Home feed,” whether they’re a subscriber or not.

Reels is yet another way YouTube is helping creators connect with their fans and bolster community on the site. We can’t wait to see how YouTubers creators use the new feature.

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