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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LA Tech Week: How Local Climate Investors Assess and Vet Green Startups

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College. Send tips or pitches to and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

LA Tech Week: How Local Climate Investors Assess and Vet Green Startups
Samson Amore

In a region known for being a national trailblazer when it comes to climate policies, there’s no shortage of green energy startups in L.A. looking for funding. There’s also a plethora of investors and incubators, which means founders looking for cash flow should be extra specific about their value proposition when they pitch to cut through the noise. At least that was the message coming from the panelists at the UCLA Anderson School of Management on Tuesday.

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LA Tech Week: Goldhirsh Foundation and the Positive Effects of Technology

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

LA Tech Week: Goldhirsh Foundation and the Positive Effects of Technology
Photo taken by Decerry Donato

On Monday, Los Angeles-based philanthropic organization Goldhirsh Foundation hosted the Technology and Storytelling For Social Good panel at Creative Visions studio to kick off LA Tech week.

Tara Roth, president of the foundation, moderated the panel and gathered nonprofit and tech leaders including Paul Lanctot, web developer of The Debt Collective; Alexis Cabrera, executive director of 9 Dots; Sabra Williams, co-founder of Creative Acts; and Laura Gonzalez, senior program manager of Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI).

Each of the panelists are grantees of Goldhirsh Foundation’s LA2050, an initiative launched in 2011 that is continuously trying to drive and track progress toward a shared vision for the future of Los Angeles. Goldhirsh’s vision is to make Los Angeles better for all and in order to achieve their goal, the foundation makes investments into organizations, creates partnerships and utilizes social capital through community events.

The panelists shared how the work they are doing in each of their respective sectors uses technology to solve some of society's most pressing challenges and highlight the importance of tech literacy across every community.

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