Links in YouTube Shorts: What Changes Mean for Creators

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August 14, 2023
An image of a phone displaying the YouTube Shorts logo with text that reads "Shorts Update: Get Ready!" Accompanies a blog post discussing changes to links in YouTube Shorts coming August 23, 2023

Links in YouTube Shorts are changing. On Aug 31, 2023, viewers won’t be able to tap or click on any links shared in YouTube Shorts descriptions, comments, or in the vertical live feed.

Our own Judah Lee has the full scoop on changes to links in YouTube Shorts. See below for the video transcript.

YouTube is making this change to make it harder for scammers and spammers to do what scammers and spammers do. Legit YouTube content creators will need to adjust their link sharing strategy.

To compensate for the lack of live links in YouTube Shorts, Youtube is rolling out a new feature to channel pages and, spoiler alert, creators should get used to saying “link in bio on channel page”

Beginning Aug 23, 2023, creators will have a new option to add “prominent, clickable links” to their channel pages. Creators can add multiple links that are in line with the YouTube Community Guidelines. These links will be displayed just above the subscribe button on the channel page.

This is a great opportunity for YouTube creators to update their channel page and turn it into a subscriber magnet.

An animated GIF showing how links in YouTube Shorts will function. Shows a YouTube channel page in mobile portrait view with links appearing above the Subscribe button

These changes mean no more links in YouTube Shorts directing viewers to your long-form content. For now, there’s no easy way around this limitation for creators. However, YouTube promises that “by the end of September, we’ll start introducing a safer way for creators to direct viewers from Shorts to their other YouTube content.”

An image showing how cross-video links in YouTube Shorts will be handled; the title of a long form video appears below a YouTube Short. Clicking the title takes viewers to the long form video.
  • Think about the links you’ll want to include on your channel page
  • Use a tool like TubeBuddy Bulk Processing Tools to remove links from descriptions and comments
  • Consider setting up link aggregation tool like Linktree 
  • Get used to saying “link in bio on channel page”

🚨 BREAKING: YouTube Shorts UPDATE In 3 Weeks (New Changes) – Video Transcript

There are updates coming to YouTube on August 23rd and 31st. 

These updates are going to bring big changes to YouTube chores and your YouTube channel page. Here’s what you need to know.

YouTube Shorts get over 50 million video views daily. Most of them are great videos from legitimate creators. However, mixed among those legitimate videos are spammers and scammers who just love to wreck things. They flood YouTube shorts with countless reuploads of the identical video. These reuploads are accompanied by links that lure viewers to deceptive websites that promise a lot but take everything.

Just the other day, my own grandmother was almost taken victim. Luckily I was there but this is serious. 

Effective. August 31st YouTube shorts comments and descriptions will no longer support hyperlinks. They’re going away along with clickable social media icons from all desktop channel banners. Now, I know those scammers are pissed that their nasty little links aren’t gonna work anymore. Their little YouTube operation is over with. However, I’m not gonna lie. This comes with some pretty nasty side effects for us creators.

All those helpful links that you use to direct viewers to social media accounts, sponsored sites, affiliate pages, even those links that drove traffic to other videos of yours. Yeah, those are going to and will be replaced with non clickable text. 

Yeah, I I know that’s not ideal but there are two more updates that make this change a little bit better. First off on August 23rd YouTube is adding prominent clickable links to everybody’s channel page on mobile and desktop near the subscribe button. When viewers click, they will see up to 12 websites that the creator chose to add that also comply with YouTube’s community guidelines.

The benefit is that viewers can see the link to the destination before clicking and YouTube is able to monitor these links for spam and abuse far better than the unimaginable amount of comments and descriptions containing spam links.

Now, what about all those links that you already pinned to direct viewers to more of your shorts, long form videos? This is where something really cool is happening. YouTube has another big update: you’ll be able to connect your short to another short or long form video or live stream within YouTube studio. The result is a clickable title above the caption that looks like this. 

Now, this is different from the edit into a short feature that YouTube dropped last year. That feature allowed you to trim a moment from a long form video into a short that included the same design. However, this new feature allows you to link any public upload from your channel to a newly custom created short. This update is going to be here by the end of September. But for us creators who have already pin links in our shorts to other videos, we’re gonna have to go back and manually update those.

It is what it is. I know some of this is kind of annoying, but I do think it makes YouTube a better platform. I also think that this new linking feature bridges the gap from shorts to long form much better. Let me know what you think in the comments below. 

And since we’re talking about shorts, I thought I’d tell you that recently we released a tool called suggested shorts that will analyze all of your long form videos to find the most engaging moments that you can clip, use as inspiration or reedit into a short for your channel. I played around with it and had some incredible results. I will leave a link for you in the description and right here so you can check that out. Thanks for hanging out with me and keep creating.