Short-form video is still thoroughly enjoying its heyday, due in no small part to YouTube Shorts.
The introduction of vertical, short-form videos to YouTube was a bold move for the Google-owned platform, and it’s paying off for both them and creators — 50 billion daily views is really nothing to be sneezed at.
It’s also ushered in a new wave of short-form video stars, many of whom are prioritizing Shorts over the likes of Facebook and Instagram Reels, and TikTok, with subscriber counts quickly dwarfing what it took years to amass on other platforms.
Even though he got his start on TikTok, Jorge Soto, one of our must-watch creators, is now completely focused on YouTube Shorts.
“I felt like, me as a creator, I was better off on YouTube because I had the access to long-form and the algorithm is a little — I don’t want to say it’s easier on YouTube Shorts, but it just makes sense,” Jorge said on the Digiday Podcast. “In two months, I gained a million subscribers, which is crazy.”
In this list, I’ll unpack the YouTube Shorts creators worth watching — both at the top of their game and on the rise — and how their content helps them stand out. Hopefully, their work will give you some ideas for your next video!
1. Alan Chikin Chow
As the world’s most-watched Shorts creator, Alan Chikin Chow’s videos are not to be missed. His silly, slapstick comedy skits have racked up 30 million subscribers — and counting.
Likely, thanks to the millions he’s earned as part of the YouTube Partner Program, his current offering is pretty polished — think costumes, sets, the works. But his clips weren’t always that way. His original, goofy comedy clips were more akin to the likes of what used to be fodder for now-defunct Vine.
“I started making videos as a way to connect with my mom,” he said in an interview with Fortune. “When I went to college, I started making videos just by myself as a way to make my mom laugh. The level of production that I've gotten to has been very incremental through the years, but I started just with my phone.”
His most-watched Short (below) has over 12 million views.
Why he’s a creator to watch: As I touched on above, it’s Alan’s family-friendly brand of comedy that seems to hit the spot. “My mission statement is ‘unity through laughter’,” he says. “What I really try to incorporate in my videos is a positive, inspiring, uplifting type of comedy. Audiences really resonate with that.”
2. ASMR Weekly
Hendil (@ASMRWeekly) is on a mission to bring (his words) “tingles and magic to your life.” This he does through his enchanting AMSR videos that immerse his viewers in the sights and sounds of their favorite fantasy worlds — think everything from a stormy night in the Gryffindor Common Room in the world of Harry Potter to a soothing space flight with Grogu in the Star Wars universe.
Why he’s a creator to watch: A musician and digital artist, Hendil cleverly manipulates stock footage and snippets from movies and video games to make his viewers feel like they’re part of their fantasy world of choice.
This carries over to his Shorts as well, which act like brief windows into the magical moments he creates in his full-length clips. It’s impossible to scroll past one without being tempted to venture into the full video he uses them to promote.
3. Dan Rhodes
Dan Rhodes is “just a kid” with a dream — and 25 million YouTube subscribers. The young Mancunian turned his boyhood dreams of becoming a magician into a reality thanks to social media and his phone camera.
He started on YouTube with longer videos in 2015 but didn’t post consistently. He eventually hit his stride with short-form clips on TikTok, where he amassed 10 million followers. He’s since more than doubled that on his original platform, thanks to YouTube Shorts.
Why he’s a creator to watch: Dan’s work isn’t overly polished or highly edited — his craft is sleight of hand, not production. Dan often heads out into the wild in his quest for content, too, stopping passersby in the street to get him to ‘rate his magic’ (inevitably, 10/10) or show him a magic trick themselves for £100.
4. Fritz Proctor
While painter Fritz Proctor is a super-talented artist, he’s best known for his mesmerizing color-matching videos, where he perfectly mixes together paint to create the exact color of an external swatch or object.
Why he’s a creator to watch: While Fritz's videos are a visual masterpiece, it’s the audio that really got me hooked on his channel. The artist leans into the audio recording as he films his clips — the swish of a paint-laden brush, the slap of paint hitting the canvas, the scrape of the palette knife — all of this creates a soothing ASMR effect that beautifully complements the hypnotic process of his color-matching.
5. Jorge Soto
High schooler Jorge (better known as @horchatasoto) started posting content on TikTok in 2020, but saw an astronomical increase in subscriber count after just a few months on YouTube. He shares short ‘story time’ clips about the minutiae of his daily life (from sitting in the wrong class to having the same backpack as a classmate).
Why he’s a creator to watch: Jorge is another creator whose content is not overly polished. He mostly uses green screen filters to superimpose his face over photos. This, coupled with stories from his everyday life, makes his content highly relatable.
6. The Korean Vegan
Joanne Lee Molinaro is @TheKoreanVegan and host of the Are You Ready with Joanne Molinaro podcast. She uses her regularly updated channel to distribute the podcast itself, interspersed with series like ‘My Kitchen Stories’ and ‘The Molinaros’ (vlogs with her husband).
She cuts clever snippets from her full-length videos to use as Shorts, but occasionally creates standalone Shorts content.
Why she’s a creator to watch: Mouthwatering food clips are not all you’ll find in Joanne’s Shorts. Thanks to snappy, engaging voice-overs, she gets really authentic and vulnerable, sharing snippets of her life along with the delicious shots of her meals.
Check out the Short above in which she shares a bit about learning about her Korean heritage (arguably more memorable than the Sundubu Dupbap she’s preparing, amazing as it looks).
7. Marie Stella
Marie Stella (@Laframbuesaa) is the comedian behind… every single character on her channel. The Toronto-based creator and self-proclaimed “one-woman production” is making a name for herself as a versatile comedic actor and writer with a plethora of top-performing YouTube Shorts — racking up 1.7 million subscribers. One of her favorite moves is tongue-in-cheek recreations of overused movie and TV tropes that are sure to make you chuckle.
Why she’s a creator to watch: Who needs sets? Thanks to clever edits and liberal use of green screen filters, Marie jumps from role to role in her hilarious snippets. Interestingly, Marie relies almost exclusively on Shorts — only four videos on her channel are longer than YouTube’s 60-second Shorts limit.
8. The Sorry Girls
DIY and redecorating has a special place in YouTubers' hearts, and Rachael, Becky, Kelsey, and Rochelle have been riding the wave since creating their channel in 2010.
Better known as The Sorry Girls (so named for the overly apologetic Canadian stereotypes), the DIYers are seeing phenomenal success with their Shorts, some of which have millions of views.
Why they’re creators to watch: The Sorry Girls are incredibly clever with content repurposing. Their DIY projects are often high-lift — both in terms of the actual work and the videos they make about them — so they squeeze every last drop out of that content.
For example, this 28-minute video of Becky giving her living room a makeover yielded no fewer than six different Shorts (and a combined 141K views on the Shorts alone).
9. Timothy Huynh
Like many of the other creators, Timothy (@SoupTimmy) has turned his passion into profit on YouTube — even if his is a little more obscure than the others on this list. Timmy’s niche? Rubik’s Cubes.
More than 3.5 million people have subscribed to watch the Speedcuber (yes, it’s a real thing) solve cubes at the rate of knots. He also makes his own Rubik’s cubes and unboxes the weird and wonderful cubes he tracks down all over the world.
Why he’s a creator to watch: Speedcubing may be Timmy’s game, but he is also a master at hooks. He draws his viewers in within the first few seconds of his videos with a simple, intriguing premise or question posed with his voice-over and captions. Things like: “This puzzle is actually scary” and “This might look like a bowl of noodles, but it's actually a Rubik’s Cube.” On Shorts, a couple of seconds is all you have to stop the scroll.
10. Wendy Cung Ly
Wendy Cung Ly (@wendyskin) is a beauty YouTube creator who is not afraid to experiment. From dyeing her hair wild shades and bleaching her eyebrows (“We don’t talk about that, it was a phase”), she’s tried it all — and brought her audience along for the ride.
While Wendy rose to prominence on Instagram and eventually TikTok, setting her sights on YouTube turned out to be a smart move. She has an impressive 270k followers on Instagram and 720k on TikTok, but now boasts over a million subscribers on YouTube, despite only having joined the platform in 2021.
Why she’s a creator to watch: Rather than posting everything everywhere, Wendy has an interesting strategy when it comes to content repurposing.
Her YouTube Shorts are almost entirely content about her life rather than beauty-related. Everything is highly personal and super-relatable — and if her astronomical rise on the platform is anything to go by, the approach seems to be working.
11. Whitney Simmons
Whitney Simmons is a YouTube OG — she got her start as a vlogger back in 2015, eventually leveraging her health and fitness-focused channel into her own business, including her own workout app.
Over the years, Whitney has adapted her longer YouTube videos (mostly vlogs and follow-along workouts) to short, snappy videos that she repurposes across Shorts, TikTok, and, less often, Instagram.
Why she’s a creator to watch: Whitney adapts her content to fit the format her audience is most hungry for. Even though she repurposes many of her clips, they all feel native to the platform (i.e. you won’t find any distinctive TikTok fonts or Instagram watermarks) — all with her trademark tongue-in-cheek humor.
Get started with YouTube Shorts
While the TikTok and Instagram algorithms can be tough to crack, YouTube Shorts seems to be something of a green space for short-form video creators. Whether you are looking to create a new YouTube channel, or level up an existing one,there’s no better time than now. Here’s our quick-start guide for Shorts success.