The bonuses of really short videos

One of the nice things about using YouTube for videos on is that we get audience retention stats. Here’s what they look like for a minute-long video I made about two years ago.
video-drop-offThis video answers the “How do I set my home page?” question at about 23 seconds in. After that the audience really starts to drop off as the video goes into supplementary topics.

The newer videos I’ve made focus mainly on one thing. This video is only 21 seconds long so it gets right to the point. In this case the average viewer watches the entire thing. Pretty cool!

So shorter is better in this case. Tell me something I don’t already know. Well, my point is that a minute long video is generally considered pretty short. Turns out you might want to think about making videos WAY shorter.

And here’s another bonus for super short videos. They’re much easier to localize. I made this 29 second Firefox OS video as an experiment. After creating an English version, I was able to re-shoot it with the interface in Spanish and drop in localized narration (recorded while I re-shot the video) in about an hour. That’s so awesome. I want to do much more of that next year.

4 thoughts on “The bonuses of really short videos

  1. Great insight, Michael. I’m wondering – how do your localizers change the language? Is that done in house or do you use any localization tools for that?

  2. For Mozilla I’ve only done this one video so far based on the workflow I came up with for Freevlog. So in this case I switch the phone language to Spanish and duplicate the steps. It’s easy because there aren’t many of them and everything is in the same place (just labeled in Spanish). Then I just need someone to localize the script and record Spanish narration. Here are the instructions I made for localizers.

  3. Cool. Is your feeling that you want to do voiceovers in localized languages vs subs? Obvious reason is – but actual voiceover is much nicer!

    • For super short screencasts like this, I can localize the whole thing – video/interface + voiceover. It’s more work that making one video and doing subtitles but it’s not too much work. I think the result is worth it.

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