Social Media Management Agency / Marketing Specialists


By: Chris | February 17, 2019

How to Use YouTube Stories: What Marketers Need to Know

You’re familiar with Instagram Stories, but have you tried YouTube Stories? YouTube is very different than Instagram and requires a different approach.
In this article, you’ll discover how to set up and deliver stories on YouTube.

First appearing early in 2018 under the name of You Tube Reels, YouTube Stories are similar to the Stories formats on Snapchat, Instagram, and other social media platforms. YouTube has noted that it may take up to 4 weeks for the Stories feature to roll out to some creators after they reach the 10,000-subscriber threshold.

Comment moderation on Stories is the same as comment moderation on regular YouTube video. The tools available on your regular video uploads are also available on your stories.

How long do YouTube stories last? Lifespan is a key difference between today’s YouTube Stories and other story formats. Rather than the widely used 24-hour lifespan, YouTube stories remain viewable for 7 days.

How Fans Watch YouTube Stories

YouTube stories are available only via the mobile YouTube app. There are two ways to see YouTube stories from the channels and Watch pages you subscribe to: through your Subscriptions feed or a channel’s Stories tab.

View YouTube Stories Through Your Personal Subscriptions Feed

Open the YouTube app on your mobile device and tap on the Subscriptions icon at the bottom of the screen.

At the top of the next screen, you’ll see a string of profile pictures. Channels with Stories content are shown at the left end of the bar. If a channel has a new story you haven’t seen, their profile picture will have a colored circle around its edge.

To open a story, tap on the profile picture.

View YouTube Stories Through a Channel’s Stories Tab

Open the YouTube app on your mobile device and tap on the Subscriptions icon at the bottom of the screen. Next, find and tap on All at the right side of the Subscriptions feed to reveal a list of all of the channels you subscribe to.

Tap a profile picture to visit the creator’s channel. At the top of the channel, swipe left on the navigation bar to reach the Stories tab. Tap Stories to see a list of active YouTube story content, and tap any story to open it

Navigate and Watch YouTube Stories Content

At the top of each story is a player that shows line segments to indicate how many stories are available to watch from this particular creator. You can then tap any segment to view a previous video or image in the story, or to skip to the next video or image in the story.

You can also pause any story by pressing a finger to the screen. Simply lift your finger to let the story play on.

Swipe from right to left to watch another channel’s story, or swipe from left right to watch a previous channel’s story.

Tap in the Comment box to leave a message, and tap the Comment bubble (on the left side of the Comment box) to reveal and engage with other comments.

How to Create YouTube Stories for Your Channel or Watch Page

YouTube stories are produced only in the YouTube Play app rather than YouTube Creator Studio.

First, open the YouTube app on your mobile device and then tap on the camera plus icon on the upper right side of the navigation bar.

Next, tap the Story icon (which is a round circle with a plus sign inside it).

From here, you can add a saved photo or video from your mobile device to your YouTube story, take a new photo, or record a new video.

Add an Image or Video to a YouTube Story

To add a photo to your story, tap the capture button in the same way you would take a regular photo.

To record a video for your story, hold the capture button, and when you’re done recording, release. Stories video can be up to 15 seconds in length.

From here, you can edit your story using a variety of editing tools to remove footage or add engaging elements before you post it to your story.

You can also add music to your story, use a filterinsert video links, and add text or stickers

Pro Tip: Create a story on Instagram or YouTube, and save it to your device. You can then re-post it to Facebook, Instagram and/or YouTube.

View Performance Metrics on YouTube Stories

To see the number of views and comments on an individual story post, open the story and look at the bottom of the player. To see the total number of views for a complete story, look at the Stories tab on your YouTube channel page.

Remember, stories and their comments disappear after 7 days, and you’ll only see the number of views and comments on an active story. However, story creators can see comments on a story for 30 days in YouTube Studio.

The whole point of YouTube Stories is to engage your community on a more informal and regular basis, so responding to comments is important.


YouTube Stories has come a long way since Reels first debuted. While it’s still in the early days and the feature won’t be rolled out to just anyone with a channel, it does raise another point in favor of working to build a thriving and engaged YouTube community.

Use the tips above to acquaint yourself with creating, managing, and using YouTube Stories now so that when your channel hits 10,000 subscribers, you’re ready to go!

What do you think? Does your channel or Watch page have YouTube Stories yet? Are you enjoying YouTube stories from other creators? How will you use this new feature? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Category: YouTube 

Tags: YouTube Stories