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YouTube Removing Links From Shorts: What To Do Starting August 23, 2023

If you’re a YouTube Shorts creator, brace yourself for some major updates on the horizon! Starting August 23rd, 2023, YouTube is going to remove links from Shorts including the description and comments section. Here’s what you can do to best prepare for this change.

Major Dates Coming Up for YouTube Shorts

  • Starting August 31st, YouTube Shorts comments and descriptions won’t support hyperlinks or clickable social media icons on desktop channel banners.
  • On August 23rd, clickable links will be added near the subscribe button on mobile and desktop channel pages, offering up to 12 approved websites complying with YouTube guidelines.
  • A new YouTube Studio feature will allow creators to link Shorts to other Shorts, long-form videos, or live streams; this update will be available by the end of September. Existing pinned links in Shorts will need manual updating.

Here’s a more detailed breakdown of the upcoming alterations that you need to know about:

1. YouTube Shorts: A Playground for Creators and Challenges Ahead

YouTube Shorts has rapidly become a hotspot for bite-sized video content, racking up an astonishing 50 billion daily video views. Amid this tremendous success, however, lurk spammers and scammers are out to disrupt the platform with re-uploaded videos and misleading links. These malicious practices have led YouTube to take action against them. Inevitably these actions have a tremendous impact on YouTube creators as well.

2. The Countdown to Change: August 31st Deadline for Hyperlinks

Starting from August 31st, you’ll notice a significant shift in the YouTube Shorts landscape. Comments and descriptions in Shorts will no longer support hyperlinks in both the description and comments sections. This is a bold move to thwart scammers’ tactics, making it harder for them to deceive viewers with deceptive links.

3. The Trade-Off: Impact on Creators

While this change is undoubtedly a positive step toward cleaning up YouTube Shorts and creating better security for YouTube, it comes with some side effects that creators should be prepared for. All those valuable hyperlinks used to direct viewers to social media accounts, sponsored sites, affiliate pages, and even related videos will become non-clickable text.

4. Welcome Additions: Prominent Clickable Links Soon Will be Available on the YouTube Channel Pages

On August 23rd, YouTube is introducing a feature that will alleviate the impact of losing clickable links. Prominent clickable links will be placed near the subscribe button on both mobile and desktop channel pages. Creators can select up to 12 websites that adhere to YouTube’s community guidelines. This move ensures that viewers can preview the destination before clicking and assists YouTube in keeping an eye on potential spam and abuse.

But that’s not all! A groundbreaking update arriving by the end of September allows creators to establish connections between Shorts, long-form videos, and live streams. This new feature lets you link Shorts to long-form videos, livestream, and vice versa. While this means manually updating existing pinned links, it bridges the gap between Shorts and long-form content seamlessly.

5. Plan of Action

With this new information at hand, what can you do as a creator to offset link removal (i.e. they become static text instead of clickable links after August 31st)? Here are some initial steps we recommend:

  1. Identify the most popular YouTube Shorts you have and start there. We recommend experimenting with the top 20-30 Shorts first
  2. After August 23rd, 2023, consider setting aside time to revisit those Shorts that have the most potential to drive traffic toward other Shorts, regular videos and livestreams – and start linking them with YouTube’s new feature.
  3. Vise versa, start brainstorming how to repurpose Shorts from long-form content such as regular videos, livestream if you haven’t done so already. This helps you stay ahead of the curve and really leverage new features from YouTube to drive business value for you. Learn more about content repurposing, check out: Repurpose.io Review: Removing Stress From Content Creators With AI (2023)

The plan of action should be an iterative process. Given our time and attention are limited, it’s better to work on these updates in batches (block 1-2 hours each time) as opposed to one-off endeavors. I also recommend hiring a virtual assistant to help with this type of repetitive task. Learn more about How To Hire On Upwork (2023 Guide)


As the YouTube landscape evolves, it’s important to embrace these changes with an open mind.

While we bid farewell to clickable hyperlinks, we welcome new linking alternatives that foster a more dynamic and engaging user experience. Please let us know what you think in the comment below. Stay tuned for these updates, and keep creating remarkable content that resonates with audiences across the globe!

Stay ahead of YouTube changes, for good.

Interested in learning to build a long-term YouTube strategy for your business, and working with a professional team that helps you stay ahead of these changes? Consider our YouTube Strategy program.

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