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5 Social Video Trends: From Going Live to YouTube Shorts

Get up to speed on the top social video trends, plus tips on how to create engaging social media video.

Posted 4 Nov 2021
5 Social Video Trends: From Going Live to YouTube Shorts

Video has become a staple of our social media feeds over the last few years. With 300 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, 500 million people now using Instagram Stories daily, and the recent explosion of TikTok, Instagram Reels and now YouTube Shorts and YouTube Stories – the popularity of social video is increasing. So, if you want to leverage social video for your marketing strategy, it’s important to keep up to date with what’s trending. 

Covering everything from how to go live on TikTok to how to make a Reel on Instagram, here are the top social video trends to watch, as well as tips and tricks for how to create engaging social video to reel in those viewers. 

1. Going Live

Live video is one of the best ways to capture the attention of your social media audience. From Facebook Live and TikTok to YouTube and Instagram Live, live video content is now absolutely dominating our social platforms – with 1 million Instagram users watching live video every day and live streams making up one in five Facebook videos posted on the platform.

Many brands and influencers are now regularly going live on social media to connect, engage and interact with their followers, and hybrid events are becoming the status quo. Live streaming allows anyone to get in the action, no matter where they are in the world, and the format is fast becoming the new normal for many industries – particularly fashion, music and entertainment. So, if you’re not already, now’s the time to go live! 

While live videos don’t need to be polished, a good presenter and a quality connection are key. There are a range of things you can do to ensure your stream is as clear and crisp as possible – good lighting, the right equipment, and even greenscreen effects can help make your live stream stand out for all the right reasons. While it’s easy to live stream from your smartphone, you can also set up to go live directly from a professional camera to Facebook, YouTube or Instagram for that extra level of professionalism. 

“Live videos really benefit from being dressed up a bit,” says Envato Video Specialist Mark Brodhuber. “Using on-screen graphics, producers can take their videos to the next level by emphasizing the areas of the screen that they want users to focus on. Broadcast Packages and Social Media Video Templates offer a massive variety of layouts that come with animated graphics to showcase products or information, while providing ample space for footage or video to be displayed at the same time.”

How to Go Live on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook & YouTube

TikTok

  • Tap the “create” icon to access the LIVE screen.
  • Swipe to LIVE in the navigation, pick an image, and write a title for your stream. 
  • Once you’re ready, press Go LIVE to start your stream. 
  • Once you’re LIVE, you can tap the three dots to change a variety of settings.

Instagram

  • Tap ‘New Post’ at the top of your feed, or simply swipe right from your feed. Scroll to ‘Live’, then tap ‘Go Live’. 
  • Instagram Live Video allows you to connect with your followers in real time for up to one hour.
  • Once a live video has ended, you can download the video to your camera roll, share a replay of it to Instagram Video or share it from your Live Archive.

Facebook

  • Tap ‘Live’ at the top of your News Feed.
  • You can select a broadcast type (example: ‘Lip Sync Live’) or tap to add an effect. You can also add an effect after you’ve started your broadcast.
  • Tap ‘Start Live Video’.
  • Tap ‘Finish’ to end your broadcast.

YouTube

  • From the YouTube app, select the camcorder icon.
  • Select ‘Go Live’.
  • Add your title and privacy setting.
  • Select ‘More Options’ to add a description. 
  • Tap ‘Share’ to share the link on social media.
  • Select ‘Go Live’.

2. Instagram Reels

Since launching in 2020, Instagram Reels have become one of the most engaging video formats. Allowing creators to produce short in-feed videos with audio and music, Instagram Reels are quick, fun and super easy to use. The feature allows users to upload premade videos, edit multiple video clips into one, or create content within the Instagram app.

While Instagram is known for photos, video has actually become the platform’s most engaging form of content, with videos generating 49% more engagement than photo posts. 

How to Use Instagram Reels

  • Video: Select ‘Reels’ at the bottom of the Instagram camera, and choose from a variety of creative editing tools on the left side of your screen. Reels can be recorded one at a time, all at once, or using premade videos from your camera roll. 
  • Audio: You can search for a song from the Instagram music library, or use your own original audio. When you share a reel with original audio, and your account is public, other users can even create reels with your sounds.
  • AR Effects: Select an effect from the vast gallery created both by Instagram and creators all over the world.
  • Timer and Countdown: Set the timer to record a reel hands-free. Press record, and wait for the 3-2-1 countdown before recording begins.
  • Align: You can then line up your previous clips while you record your next to help create seamless transitions between videos.
  • Speed: You can choose to speed up or slow down any selected video or audio, to help you stay on beat or make slow motion videos.
  • Specs: Minimum resolution for all Instagram formats is 1080×1080. Multiple aspect ratios are supported: Landscape aspect ratio is 16:9, square aspect ratio is 1:1, vertical aspect ratio is 4:5. Recommended video formats are .MP4 and .MOV.

If you need a little extra help creating content, video templates – such as After Effects templates and Premiere Pro templates – are a great, easy way to keep your Instagram Reels looking on point. Check out this Dynamic Fashion Opener by JoeProduction, these Glowing Scribbles by artino, or this Modern Typography Intro by YETYYY on Envato Elements. 

Or, brush up on your video editing with YouTube sensations and video experts Josh Olufemii, Premiere Gal and Tutvid

3. YouTube Shorts

Similar to TikTok and Instagram Stories, YouTube Shorts are 60-second vertical videos optimized for a mobile-viewing experience. YouTube Shorts allows creators to make snappy, 15-second videos and capture  and edit multiple clips. It also offers various creative features such as video tools, music, speed controls, and a timer. 

These vertical, short-form videos are displayed on YouTube’s homepage via the Shorts shelf as well as on users’ channels. Shorts are becoming one of YouTube’s hottest trends, now generating over 15 Billion daily average views globally

“With mobile devices dominating the online landscape, it’s changed the way the content on YouTube is consumed – and the video hosting giant has realised that!” says Envato’s Video Marketing Specialist Jen McKinnon. “People are watching on-the-go and YouTube is now bending to that user preference by introducing features that optimise the experience for their busy users.”

How to Use YouTube Shorts

  • Sign in to YouTube on mobile, and tap ‘Create a Short’. 
  • To record a clip, tap and hold the capture button or tap it to start recording. Tap it again to end the segment.
  • Pick from a selection of songs that are free to use.
  • Choose to speed up or slow down recording, or set the Countdown to record hands-free. 

To make your YouTube Shorts stand out, try out some video templates to dress up your videos in style. As YouTube Shorts is a new feature, existing Instagram Stories templates will work well for this vertical format. Try out these Instagram Stories by MotionLemon, this Instagram Stories Pack by Make-Space, or these Brutalism Instagram Stories by Colorama on Envato Elements

4. TikTok

TikTok is the fastest growing social media platform in the world, accruing over 800 million active users worldwide since launching in 2019. Allowing users to create short videos with music, filters, captions and other fun features, the short-form video app is now influencing everything from memes and music to fashion to pop culture trends. 

Similar to Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram Stories, TikTok videos are vertical, you can ‘heart’ your favorite videos, and use fun filters similar to Instagram and Snapchat. However, unlike other platforms, TikTok is mainly focused on entertainment rather than connection or lifestyle, producing less polished but more engaging content. Its straightforward features and usability make it super easy for anyone to create or consume content on the platform, and everyone from MAC Cosmetics to the NBA have taken to TikTok to make their brands more accessible.

TikTok has its own huge community of creators and influencers with millions of fans, such as Baby Ariel, Mackenzie Ziegler, and Charli D’Amelio who has a whopping 79.9 million followers. The platform is continuing to grow exponentially – meaning there’s a huge audience to be tapped into. 

How to create a video on TikTok 

  • Open the TikTok App and hit the plus sign.
  • Choose your music. TikTok has a library full of clips of popular songs, or you can also use your own original music. 
  • When you’re ready to record your video, click on the plus sign at the bottom of the home screen.
  • Edit your video, add a caption and hashtags, and post.

5. Instagram Stories and Instagram Video

Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories have become one of the most popular social media formats of all time, with 500+ million people now using Stories each day. While the feature may have originally been influenced by Snapchat, it’s had a huge impact on trending content types across other social media platforms, including Facebook, Google, YouTube, and even LinkedIn

An early example of the vertical and ephemeral video trends, Instagram Stories are proven to generate higher levels of engagement due to their time-sensitive nature. Stories was also one of the first vertical video features, with this orientation having a 90% higher completion rate than horizontal videos. Now, vertical video is everywhere – including Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, YouTube, TikTok and even the big screen.

“Over the last few years we’ve seen a shift in the consumption of media, with people now spending more time per day using a mobile phone than watching television,” says Envato Video Specialist Mark Brodhuber. “Adding to the explosive growth of video-based social platforms like Instagram Stories, Reels, TikTok & Snapchat, users now expect short, succinct and to-the-point video content. And because we’re talking about mobile consumption, the preferred orientation is trending towards vertical video.” 

While IGTV was previously the go-to for long-form videos, Instagram has recently merged IGTV with feed videos to create ‘Instagram Video’. This new iteration allows users to post videos between one minute and an hour long, just like with IGTV.  Instagram Video also allows users to edit and trim videos, add filters and stickers, and tag people and locations. Designed to make discovering videos and creating new content easier, the update also reflects the rising popularity of video as Instagram continues to expand beyond a photo-sharing platform.

How to use Stories & Instagram Video

Stories

  • In the app, click the camera icon in the top left corner to access the Stories camera.
  • You can upload a premade video from your camera roll, or film directly from the Instagram or Facebook app. 
  • At the bottom of the screen, choose from a range of formats and effects to add to your video, then post. 

Instagram Video

  • Tap the plus sign, select ‘post’, then select your video. 
  • Tap and slide the image at the bottom to select a cover image or tap Add from Camera Roll (iPhone) or Add from Gallery (Android).
  • Trim, edit or filter your video and add any tags. 
  • Enter a title, a description, and post. 
  • Before posting your video, you can also create or add to a Series, or post a preview of your video to your feed and on your profile.
  • Recommended resolution is 1080 x 1920, with a minimum resolution of 720. Aspect ratio is 9:16 or 16:9, and in-feed previews show at 4:5.
  • Videos are one to 15 minutes long when uploading from mobile, or up to one hour using desktop.
  • Max file size for videos less than 10 minutes is 650MB, and 3.6 GB for up to 60 minutes. The required file format is MP4.

To add some simple sparkle to your Stories or Instagram Videos, try these Urban Instagram Stories by Colorama or this Instagram Stories Stomp Intro by NeuronFX on Envato Elements.

And that’s a wrap on the Social Video Trends to watch! For more great trends and tips, check out our Social Media Trends and Video Trends for 2021.

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