YouTube has announced that it will be shutting down its Stories feature on June 26, 2023. The decision reflects the company’s strategic shift towards focusing on other key areas such as Shorts, Community posts, and live videos, in addition to its traditional long-form content. This move comes as Stories have lost traction in the wake of TikTok’s rise, with more platforms adopting the short-form vertical video format popularized by TikTok rather than the ephemeral and casual Stories format.
YouTube is not the only platform to abandon Stories; Netflix had previously tested a Stories-like feature called “Extras” but later embraced vertical video with the launch of features like “Fast Laughs” and a vertical video feature for kids. LinkedIn also abandoned its Stories feature in 2021. While Spotify introduced a feature similar to Stories for artist profiles, the app’s larger redesign prioritizes TikTok-like discovery feeds as its central focus.
YouTube officially rolled out Stories to creators with over 10,000 subscribers in 2018, but it never expanded access to all YouTube users, limiting its potential for casual, personal sharing. The intention was for creators to engage with their audience by providing behind-the-scenes updates, vlogs, sneak peeks, quick updates, and more. However, the feature saw limited adoption, especially when compared to other engagement tools like Community posts, which allowed creators to share quick updates, promote their content, and interact with fans. YouTube acknowledges that among creators who used both Stories and Community posts, the latter generated significantly more comments and likes. The platform recently expanded access to Community posts to a broader set of creators by dropping the requirement of having over 500 subscribers.
Creators have shifted their focus to YouTube Shorts, a short-form video format that has been more successful than Stories. On average, creators who used both Shorts and Stories saw a substantial increase in subscribers on Shorts. YouTube spokespersons explained that as Shorts adoption grew, creators benefited from this new format, leading to the decision to discontinue Stories. YouTube remains committed to supporting creators in their growth and audience connection across different formats.
Creators who frequently use Stories will be notified of the shutdown through various channels, including YouTube Studio notifications, Help Center content, and a Creator Insider video that provides regular updates. A notification will also be displayed directly in Stories for creators who access the feature before June 26. While it will no longer be possible to create new Stories after the shutdown date, existing Stories will remain visible for seven days after their original sharing date, according to YouTube’s statement.