BENLabs' New Tool Is Leveling the Playing Field for Smaller Creators

Kristin Snyder

Kristin Snyder is dot.LA's 2022/23 Editorial Fellow. She previously interned with Tiger Oak Media and led the arts section for UCLA's Daily Bruin.

BENLabs' New Tool Is Leveling the Playing Field for Smaller Creators
Evan Xie/Original Image Courtesy of BENLabs

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From TikTok to YouTube Shorts to Instagram Reels, short-form videos have taken over social media. One study from software company Sprout Social found that 66% of consumers find short-form videos to be the most engaging online content. Which is why BENlabs, an AI entertainment company, is trying to make it easier for creators to cut their longer content into smaller segments.


Last week, the Los Angeles-based company launched its suggested shorts AI tool through its YouTube extension TubeBuddy. Using information already provided to creators by YouTube, TubeBuddy determines which sections of a creator’s entire video catalog receive the most views. That way, creators can more easily determine which clips from long-form content might perform best as a YouTube Short, TikTok or Reel.

“It takes a long time to record a YouTube video,” says BENlabs chief technology and AI officer Tyler Folkman. “Creators put all this effort into potentially thousands of videos in their content catalog, and there are probably a ton of opportunities to take snippets for the short form.”

BENlabs initially began working on the suggested Shorts features when YouTube announced that creators could monetize their short-form content through an ad-revenue sharing program. Anticipating a demand for creators looking to benefit from the program without having to film new videos from scratch, Folkman says the new tool makes that process easier.

While users can access a limited number of suggested shorts for free, paying users receive a higher number of recommendations. But Folkman says that even the free tier, which also features tools like a video editing toolbar and a thumbnail editor, can be beneficial to people just starting out on their content creation journey.

In that sense, this latest tool is meant to even the playing field. Big creators often hire teams to analyze this data and produce content. But with suggested shorts, smaller creators, who are often deterred when their initial attempts at finding social media success don’t succeed, can utilize similar tools—which Folkman says can help people optimize their channels.

“When you're not that big (of a creator), the tools you use can really help you scale yourself and do all those other things that maybe aren't in your natural wheelhouse,” Folkman says.

To that end, Folkman views AI as a tool for creators to better understand what their audiences are responding to. And while data might not be the most exciting aspect of a creator’s social media presence, it can help boost someone’s audience.

“We want to make it less like a grind and feel more like you're taking an intelligent strategy to succeed,” Folkman says. “And hopefully hitting your audience with great content.”

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