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How to Turn a Long Video Into a Short Viral Clip

Photo by Noiseporn / Unsplash

Short videos are all the rage on YouTube Shorts, Instagram and Facebook (Reels), and TikTok. Moreover, platforms are now providing ways to earn money through programs like Instagram Play Bonus and YouTube Revenue Sharing, so making short videos is also a lucrative practice.

But crafting them from scratch can be very time-consuming. That’s where converting long videos into digestible clips becomes useful.

In this post, we’ll share advice on how to turn a YouTube video into a Short, listing the tools you’ll need, essential information you should know, and actionable tips you should follow.

Is It Worth Doing YouTube Shorts When You Focus on Long-Form Content?

Absolutely, it’s worth creating shorter videos, even if you primarily focus on long-form content. The two types of videos cater to different audiences and should be approached differently. By doing both, you can reach a wider range of viewers and engage them in different ways.

The data supports the effectiveness of short videos in capturing viewer attention. Data show that videos under 90 seconds long retain 50% of viewers, which is much higher than longer videos. This aligns with the trend toward “snackable” content that is easily digestible and keeps viewers watching.

Don’t worry about converting short viewers into long-form viewers. If they enjoy your Shorts, that’s fantastic! They’re still engaging with your content, and some may eventually watch your longer videos, too.

How to Create YouTube Shorts from Existing Videos on a Desktop

Editing a video down can feel like a lot of extra work, especially after already spending time on the initial edit. But here’s a trick: use AI to select clips for you. Just give your input and suggestions to AI Video Cut and let AI do the heavy lifting.

Here’s how you can create YouTube Shorts from existing video on PC or Mac using AI Video Cut:

Credit: AI Video Cut
  1. Visit the AI Video Cut website.
  2. Enter a YouTube video URL in the dedicated field.
Credit: AI Video Cut

3. Select the type of video you want to create, such as catching trailers or topic-based viral clips.

Credit: AI Video Cut

4. Choose your preferred duration (7, 15, or 25 phrases).

5. Tap Submit.

6. Click the Download button once the new short video is ready. The results will also be sent to the email you entered upon the signup.

Credit: AI Video Cut

If you’re looking for more control over your edits and consider yourself a bit more advanced, traditional editing software will offer more features and flexibility for editing your clips exactly the way you want. It will take more time and effort, but here are your options if you take this route:

  • Adobe Premiere Pro: Top choice for professional editing
  • Adobe Premiere Rush: Fast editing on desktop
  • DaVinci Resolve: Best free editor with powerful color grading tools
  • Final Cut Pro: Excellent for Mac users needing advanced tools
  • Clipchamp: Quick editing online
  • Luxea Pro: Good mid-range option for Windows
  • iMovie: Free and polished, especially for Mac users
  • Wondershare Filmora: Easy editing with effects
If you need to download a video first—from YouTube or other platforms—you can use 4K Video Downloader Plus or similar tools, and only then edit the clip. 

How to Create YouTube Shorts From an Existing Video with Wondershare Filmora?

Credit: Filmora
  1. Open Filmora and import the video you want to shorten.
  2. Move the slider to where you want to start cutting, then click Split. Delete any unwanted parts. Repeat until the video is the right length.
  3. Right-click the video, select Speed and Duration, and adjust as needed (optional). For example, if you want a 2-minute video to play in 1 minute, increase the speed to 200%.
  4. Play the video, make sure you’re happy, then click Export. Choose how you want to save or share the shortened video.

How to Make YouTube Shorts on Mobile

For mobile editing, you have options like CapCut, Klap, InShot, VideoLeap, KineMaster, Funimate, and Filmmaker Pro.

Let’s say you end up downloading CapCut. Here are your next steps:

Credit: CapCut
  1. Choose a video from your phone’s library. Once the video loads, you’ll enter the editing screen.
  2. Tap the Trim button at the bottom. Drag the sliders to select the part of the video you want to keep.
  3. Tap Text or Sticker to add text or stickers to your video, Music to add background music, or Speed to change the video’s speed. Slow down or speed up as needed.
  4. Tap Export to save your edited video. Choose the resolution and format, then export to your phone’s gallery or share directly on social media.

Instructions for how to make a YouTube video a Short using apps other than CapCut are more or less the same. You’ll need to have the long video onto your phone and then use a regular editing app to trim it down as you wish. It’s essentially the same process as editing any other video.

Can You Upload the Same Video on Shorts and Normal Videos?

Absolutely. If you do it on the same day, it’s better to space out the posts by a few hours on the same day. This gives viewers time to enjoy and interact with the first video before seeing another and prevents them from feeling overwhelmed or losing interest. It also allows the first video to gather more views, likes, and comments before the next one goes up.

You'd ideally want to avoid posting the exact same video on both platforms at the same time. Main YouTube content does great in the regular feed, while Shorts are perfect for quick, engaging entertainment and drawing in subscribers to your main channel. Try to keep a clear difference between your usual channel content and what you post as Shorts.

How to Use YouTube Remix

YouTube Remix is a tool that helps you create short videos by combining clips from existing YouTube videos with your content. You can take 5 seconds from the original video and add 55 seconds of new content to your remix. Here’s how you can make a YouTube Short with this:

  1. Choose a long-form video and tap Create to start remixing it.
  2. Decide which part of the video you want to use in your remix. You can adjust the clip’s start and end points as needed.
  3. Choose the duration of your remix (15 or 60 seconds) and use tools like speed adjustment and timers for recording.
  4. Trim and adjust your clips, apply filters, add text overlays, and fine-tune timing for each element.
  5. After editing, add a title to your remix and review the visibility and audience settings. Your remix will credit the original channel and video automatically.

You can remix almost any short or long-form video from your or others’ channels. However, you can’t remix remixes or videos with copyrighted music. Private or unlisted videos also can’t be remixed.

If you’re not comfortable with your videos being remixed, you can opt out of remixing for your own channel’s content.

Specifications for YouTube Shorts

For YouTube Shorts, aim for a 9:16 aspect ratio, which is also used for short videos on TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. Keep your videos at a resolution of 1920 by 1080 pixels for the best quality without creating large file sizes that could cause issues on the platform. They can be up to 60 seconds long, whether it’s a single continuous video or a combination of several clips.

How Do You Hook an Audience’s Attention in a Video?

Want to go viral on Shorts or other short-form platforms? These tricks can boost your chances:

  • Start with a cool fact. Did you know wooly mammoths lived during the time of the pyramids?
  • Use “What If…” scenarios. They’re classic for sparking curiosity and keeping viewers interested.
  • Surprise your audience with twists, even based on clichés.
  • Get to the point. “In Medias Res” means diving straight into the action without wasting time.
  • Add humor. A good joke or witty comment can instantly connect with viewers.
  • Ask questions. Simple questions can prompt viewers to think.
  • Hint at a story. Cliffhangers or hints of a story can entice viewers to watch the longer video.

Short-form videos are a hit with today’s social media crowd for good reason. They tap into our shrinking attention spans and offer quick content that fits our fast-paced lifestyles. But the benefits of short videos go beyond engagement. They’re cost-effective to produce and have a wider reach through shares, plus algorithms give them a boost.

To create these snappy clips for various platforms, try out the tools we recommended.  So don’t miss out! Join these popular trends that audiences are already loving.