YouTube adds chat emotes, new tools for editing short films, and automated dubbing in other languages

YouTube has announced a bunch of new tweaks and updates that are pretty important in different ways, but especially if you want to make shorts a focus for the new year.

First off, YouTube is giving shorts creators the option to select an image from their clip as a thumbnail as part of the shorts creation process, starting with Android users.

To be clear, creators can already select a thumbnail for their short films in YouTube Studio, but this new process will make it easier to do so within the original upload flow, which could help streamline the process.

To choose a thumbnail for your shorts (on Android):

  • Record or import a video with the shorts camera, then navigate to the final upload screen
  • Tap the pencil icon overlaid on your video thumbnail
  • Scroll your video’s timeline to select a thumbnail, then click Done.
  • Upload your short film

YouTube says it’s not currently able to change the thumbnail after your short film has been uploaded, but it intends to add this feature in the future.

This update is rolling out to all YouTubers on Android starting today.

And if you want more focus on shorts, that might help as well – YouTube has launched a new series of shorts clips on the YouTube Creators channel that will bust myths and cover various aspects of the shorts process, including questions about the general one Algorithm tips, best practices and more.

Worth a look.

On another front, YouTube has publicly rolled out its new automated system for dubbing your YouTube content into another language.

The new technique, called “Aloud,” developed by YouTube’s experimental project team Area 120, can take a video in English and translate it into several other languages, which YouTube says could be a great way to expand your audience’s reach .

According to YouTube:

“You can dub a video with Aloud in a few hours and it’s free. This tool might be one of the easiest ways to grow your audience since 80% of the world doesn’t speak English.”

Of course, the speakers’ lips won’t match the audio then – like those foreign-language movies you accidentally watch on Netflix – but depending on your content, that might not be a big deal

You can sign up for the waitlist on the Aloud website to join the beta testing pool for the option.

YouTube is also introducing a new chat stream engagement option called “YouTube Emotes,” which allows viewers to share small graphics in their comments on clips.

Similar to Twitch emotes, the additions offer another engagement option to allow for more expression in chat streams.

As explained by YouTube:

We’re starting with emotes created for gaming, but we’re working to introduce even more themes of emotes in the future, so stay tuned for emotes for even more communities.”

They will also eventually offer another subscription incentive option, with YouTube also noting that “Channel membership custom emoji‘ will soon be another option to choose from within the emotes set. On Twitch, exclusive channel emotes are only available to paid subscribers.

To use YouTube emotes, you can click/tap on the smiley icon in live chat or comments, which will bring up a list of all emotes and emojis available to you in that stream/thread.

In a related note, YouTube is also rolling out a wider range of Super Thanks budget packages (coming soon) to create more revenue opportunities for creators, which is another way to engage in chat streams.

Finally, YouTube says it’s expanding its comment warnings and user timeouts for repeated violations of comment rules, which it first introduced in testing earlier this year.

YouTube comment removal notification

A few new updates from the old YT and some handy little additions that could play an important part in your process over the holidays.