The rise of new technologies has always had a ripple effect on other online platforms, whether it be a rise in demand for specific services, or a reshuffling of the content favored by users. The latest Kenya YouTube data shows a notable lack of popularity of shorts, especially when compared to other countries. It appears that the recent emergence of TikTok has had an adverse effect on YouTube’s preference for short-form content.
The data, which was gathered by YouTube and released recently, shows that the average viewing session time in Kenya was 10 minutes and 10 seconds. Comparatively, the number was 14 minutes and 8 seconds for India, 8 minutes and 48 seconds for the USA, and 8 minutes for Indonesia. Out of the four countries, Kenya had the lowest average session time and the biggest difference between the highest and lowest session time.
One possible explanation for the difference could be the fact that TikTok has become increasingly popular in Kenya in the past year or so and is slowly becoming the preferred platform for creating and consuming short-form content. TikTok is known for its innovative use of technologies, such as artificial intelligence and facial recognition, to produce very detailed and engaging shorts. Its user base has been growing rapidly and it is expected to reach more than two billion users globally by the end of 2021.
YouTube, which is still the go-to for long-form videos, is struggling to keep up and is being left behind in terms of audience engagement and popularity, as TikTok has overtaken it in terms of average session time. This data from Kenya is indicative of a global trend, as other countries are also seeing a decrease in YouTube short-form viewing.
It appears that the growing popularity of TikTok and the preference for short-form content on the platform has had a direct impact on YouTube in Kenya and other countries. As YouTube continues to struggle to keep up with, and compete with, TikTok, other countries are likely to follow a similar trend. It appears that YouTube will continue to lose ground in the arena of short-form content, and resources and attention may need to be devoted to improving its standing in Kenya, as well as other countries.