It’s definitely a response to the popularity of TikTok, the videos are optimised for phone viewing in the portrait orientation.
I found an interesting perspective from one of the YouTubers I subscribe to, Davie504. He’s been enjoying doing the short Vids as the limited time format has breathed new creativity into him at a time when he felt burnt out from chasing (and achieving 10 million subs)
Exactly this. Those little clips aren’t even entertaining. I have a couple chilli heads I subscribe to that do shorts for sauce reviews, and they’re fine other than the portrait view, but I don’t need the dang thing to repeat when it’s done.
I make use of the Shorts more for informational purposes than entertainment. Like catching the crash in the MotoGP or getting that recipe in a brief 1 minute over watching a 17-minute video to find ingredients. Or some of my favourites are the Vsauce shorts.