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  • Transcriber: Leslie Gauthier Reviewer: Joanna Pietrulewicz

  • More than 1.5 billion people around the world,

  • over half of them under the age of 24,

  • regularly watch short videos:

  • clips of 60 seconds or less

  • using Snapchat, TikTok, Instagram Stories

  • and other smartphone apps.

  • The market barely existed seven years ago,

  • yet today creators are uploading 702 million short videos every day.

  • As our attention span is falling to seconds,

  • short video is not only here to stay but will become the new normal.

  • Unlike other social platforms such as Instagram,

  • where perfectly edited, polished images are the norm,

  • short videos are more accessible,

  • inviting imperfection and authenticity.

  • And because each clip is so short,

  • content producers have to be creative and concise communicators.

  • But these bite-sized videos are more than just fun and entertainment.

  • For me personally,

  • as a consultant and mother,

  • short videos are where I get parenting tips.

  • On my way to work I can quickly learn about the secrets of breastfeeding

  • while traveling

  • and get great ideas about how to make my daughter sleep sooner.

  • Businesses are also learning

  • that short videos are a great way to find new customers

  • and expand the diversity of their audiences.

  • Earlier this year, I led a project with TikTok,

  • the world's leading short-video platform,

  • to assess the economic and social impact of this bite-sized economy.

  • Our study shows that this young medium is changing a lot more

  • than the way we spend our leisure time.

  • In 2019,

  • short video generated an estimated 95 billion US dollars

  • in goods and services sold

  • and created roughly 1.2 million jobs globally.

  • Even within this short lifespan,

  • short video is already impacting the way we work, communicate and learn.

  • In the age of COVID-19,

  • while museums around the world are facing indefinite closure,

  • many have acted quickly

  • to bring in an engage and new, younger audience remotely.

  • The Uffizi Gallery in Florence,

  • which just established its official new website three years ago,

  • is using short video to attract new audiences

  • to their statues and paintings.

  • By matching exhibits with emojis, music lyrics or funny quotes,

  • the museum is making its artwork more accessible

  • and relevant to the young generation of art lovers.

  • In one of its recent posts,

  • a cartoon coronavirus turned into a rock

  • and smashed in half

  • in front of Caravaggio's painting "Medusa,"

  • who has the power to turn those who gaze at her into stone.

  • (Video) (Music: "Symphony No. 5")

  • (Recording) Cardi B: Coronavirus!

  • (Voice-over) Qiuqing Tai: Uffizi also experimented

  • with influencers livestreaming from the gallery on short-video platform,

  • allowing viewers around the world to experience art

  • that they've never been able to see in person.

  • Since its appearance on TikTok in April 2020,

  • the museum's profile has attracted more than 43,000 followers

  • in three months.

  • This speed is far quicker than their journey on Twitter,

  • where it built up a similar number of fanbase during the past four years.

  • Small businesses are also using short video as a way to find new audiences

  • who might have never heard of them or their products before.

  • In 2018, Douyin, the leading Chinese short-video platform,

  • as part of a social responsibility initiative

  • to alleviate poverty in China,

  • launched a campaign to help individual farmers

  • and small businesses in China's mountainous areas sell farm produce.

  • As one of its pilot projects,

  • Douyin invited content producers

  • to create four pieces of 15-second short videos

  • showcasing the quality of their products.

  • This is on top of other, regular PR initiatives,

  • such as promotional articles.

  • Douyin wanted to leverage the large user base of short video

  • to find those customers who might be interested in those products

  • and then connected them with the e-commerce website

  • so that people can buy things as they watch the videos.

  • In just five days,

  • the initiative helped nearly 4,000 families in Sichuan Province

  • sell an astonishing 120,000 kilograms of plums.

  • Many brands that are interested in hiring and recruiting young people

  • have been using short video as a fresh way to engage

  • with Generation Z.

  • For example,

  • more than half of McDonald's employees are aged between 16 to 24.

  • In Australia, the brand was struggling to recruit in recent years,

  • so it launched something called "snaplication,"

  • which is a Snapchat lens that enabled users

  • to shoot 10-second videos explaining why they'd be a perfect McDonald's employee

  • and then prompted them to a link with a job application.

  • Within 24 hours after launching the campaign,

  • McDonald's received 3,000 "snaplications,"

  • four times more than the number they received in a whole week

  • using traditional methods.

  • While it's unclear whether hiring over short video is the best way

  • to find the right people for the job or to retain talent,

  • but judging solely from recruiting numbers,

  • the campaign was a global hit.

  • In Saudi Arabia,

  • McDonald's received 43,000 snaplications within 24 hours,

  • and the company launched the campaign again later in the US.

  • Much like how I like to get parenting tips from short video,

  • many users also want to leverage the platform to learn,

  • but in tiny, bit-sized doses.

  • In our study, short video users globally ranked the top benefits of the platform

  • as discovering new interests and learning new skills.

  • In emerging markets especially,

  • short video for learning and education

  • has huge potential to change the status quo.

  • In 2019, TikTok launched a campaign in India

  • with the aim of democratizing learning for the Indian digital community.

  • While the app has been banned in the country since July 2020,

  • it launched a huge demand for educational short-video content

  • and other platforms are jumping in to fill in the space.

  • TikTok was able to spark this trend

  • by collaborating with Indian social enterprises,

  • education startups

  • and popular creators

  • to produce 15-second short videos that covered a range of topics

  • from school-level science to learning new languages.

  • As the first wave of short video became widely spread on the platform,

  • audiences got inspired

  • and some even began to create their own educational content.

  • By October 2019,

  • the campaign had generated more than 10 million videos

  • and garnered 48 billion views.

  • Through helping people learn

  • and participate in the process of content creation,

  • short videos are in fact helping prep and train the skilled population

  • that can take on the challenges of the future.

  • Like all social media,

  • there are valid concerns around short-video platforms,

  • including data privacy,

  • the addictive nature of the format

  • and the lack of nuance and context in the content.

  • However, I still think that the positive outcomes of short video

  • will outweigh its downsides.

  • I believe short video will become a more vital economic and social force

  • in the future.

  • It is precisely because of this

  • that we need to find the right way to benefit from this young medium

  • through collaboration among users,

  • platforms and policymakers.

  • Thank you.

Transcriber: Leslie Gauthier Reviewer: Joanna Pietrulewicz

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TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat -- and the rise of bite-sized content | Qiuqing Tai

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/02/24
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