Audience Growth

What Is the Best Time to Post on YouTube Shorts?

by Nicholas Bouchard · Published Mar 10, 2023

Are you regularly posting on YouTube Shorts but it seems like your videos aren’t getting any traction? Anyone who experiences this will probably want to find some ways to beat the algorithm, whether it’s using certain hashtags, changing their editing style, or figuring out the best time to post new videos.

You might be wondering, “Does the posting time really matter? If so, when is the best time to post YouTube Shorts? Are there magic peak hours?”

The short answer is that there isn’t a definite best time to publish YouTube videos, as it varies based on your audience’s location as well as their behavior. That being said, there are some tips that can help you estimate the best posting time for your channel and maximize your videos’ engagement.

Read on to better understand how YouTube’s algorithm works, and how you can find the best time to post your Shorts.


Your free guide to making money with short-form content on YouTube.

How does the YouTube algorithm work?

If you’ve been a content creator for any length of time, you probably know there is one word that makes any YouTuber shudder: the algorithm.

At its most basic, YouTube’s indexing algorithm — which the platform calls “the search and discovery system” — is what decides which videos end up in your audience’s recommended feed. Essentially, the algorithm tries to guess which videos YouTube users want to see based on different factors, from their watch history and search history, to their likes and dislikes.

But that’s not all that the YouTube algorithm takes into account. And because it’s not always clear what exactly the algorithm analyzes, this has prompted many creators to try to figure out how to “hack” the algorithm.

It’s also worth noting that, unlike some other social media platforms, YouTube does not display newly uploaded content in chronological order. Instead, it takes time for YouTube to process and index your video, before your content starts showing up on most viewers’ home page or in search results.

According to a guide from social media managing tool SocialPilot, it is recommended to publish a video “2-3 hours before the perceived best time to upload YouTube videos” for your channel. By factoring in the time it may take YouTube to understand and index your video, by the time your audience is the most active on the platform, there’s a higher chance they will see your latest upload.

Here’s a quick example: Let’s say the best time to post on your YouTube channel is between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Fridays. If you want to achieve maximum engagement, then you should upload videos a few hours early, between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Fridays.

What are the best times to publish YouTube videos?

As mentioned, there is no exact answer to this question, as the ideal posting time depends on the location of your target audience. Additionally, you’ll want to consider other factors such as your audience’s preferred type of content, and when most viewers login to YouTube to watch videos.

However, if you are just starting to explore YouTube and want some guidance, you may refer to the average best posting times suggested by trusted sources.

For instance, in its 2022 social media trends report, CRM platform HubSpot surveyed over 300 U.S. marketers about how they use social media in their marketing efforts — including what days and times they typically post on YouTube.

Here are the results — note that about 40% of those surveyed were located in the Eastern time zone:

  • 31% of respondents said 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • 23% of respondents said 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • 19% of respondents said 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.

The report also suggests that Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are the best days to post. And according to its survey, the exact time that you upload YouTube videos doesn’t seem to matter as much during the weekend. However, if you’re posting during the rest of the week, i.e., Monday to Thursday, you might want to avoid publishing before noon and any time after 9 p.m.

Note that the above is what most marketers consider the best times to post videos on YouTube. While marketing professionals generally have a good grasp of their audiences, these perceived best posting times aren’t necessarily based on any official, hard data from YouTube.

How can I find the best times to post YouTube Shorts?

Since YouTube Shorts is relatively new, there is limited information specifically about the best times to post these short-form videos. But don’t fret, there is a foolproof way that can help you define your personal best posting time.

As long as your videos have enough viewers, you can find a report in your YouTube Studio that tells you the peak viewing times among your audience — that’s the best time to post your Shorts. That data is infinitely more valuable than generalized data from marketers or other sources, because it’s pulled right from the target audience you’re trying to reach.

Here’s how you can find information about the peak viewing times of your channel:

  1. First, open YouTube Studio.
  2. Next, click Analytics from the left menu.
  3. Finally, hit the Audience tab. There, you’ll find a report with data on when your viewers are on YouTube.

Depending on the preferences and behaviour of your audience, your personal best time to post Shorts will be different from the next YouTuber’s. So make sure to post videos when your audience is most active on YouTube.

Does it actually matter when you post on YouTube Shorts?

Well, yes and no.

Obviously, you should publish your Shorts when your audience is most likely to be on YouTube. That means that, to some extent, you should find out when it’s the best time to post.

That being said, there are a few reasons why when you publish them isn’t as important as what or how you post:

Shorts and long-form videos aren’t the same thing

It’s important to realize that most of the information online about the best time to post on YouTube is for long-form videos, not Shorts. Why does that matter? Because there are different algorithms for long-form videos and Shorts.

In an interview with Creator Support, YouTube employees Todd Sherman revealed that the platform decided to keep the two algorithms separated soon after launching Shorts. He explained that this is because YouTube didn’t want Shorts to dominate people’s recommended feeds.

While it doesn’t hurt to read up on the best average time frames to post YouTube videos, just remember that most of the advice you’ll find online are about long-form videos, meaning they might not necessarily apply to Shorts.


How exactly does the #YouTubeShorts algorithm work? We’ve got you. Tap the link in our bio, find this video under the ‘TikTok’ tab and tap through to the full blog post. 🔥 #youtube #youtubealgorithm #youtubetips Thanks again for this amazing interview @Colin and Samir!

♬ original sound – The Leap

The YouTube algorithm cares about one thing: your audience

Even if tons of creators think they need to “beat” or “hack” the YouTube algorithm, it’s really not the best use of their time. Why? That’s because the algorithm isn’t something you should be trying to beat.

One of the biggest myths about the YouTube algorithm is that it pushes videos from some channels over others, but that’s the wrong way to look at it. As YouTube employee Rene Ritchie said in an interview with Creator Support, the algorithm doesn’t push videos. Instead, it pulls them for viewers.

Simply put, YouTube’s algorithm compares what viewers want with your content. And if there’s a match, your videos will get in front of them.

So what’s the takeaway here? Instead of looking for tricks to beat the algorithm, focus on keeping your audience in mind when creating content. What do they want to see? What should you feature in your Shorts?

Ask yourself these questions, and review the YouTube Analytics report mentioned above, and you should start seeing some real success.


How does the YouTube Shorts algorithm work? Let’s break it down! Read the full article at the link in our bio! #youtubeshorts #socialmediaupdates #community #youtubeshorts2023 #youtubeshortsvideo #youtubealgorithm #greenscreen

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Timing and freshness might not be the most important metrics

While some other social media platforms like Instagram favor newer posts over older content, for YouTube, that’s less of an issue.

The YouTube algorithm cares a lot more about how relevant your content is for a potential viewer than when it was posted. So your efforts should really be focused on figuring out what your audience wants to watch, creating content that matches those wants, and using SEO practices to help the YouTube algorithm understand what your videos are about.

The only caveat? Since Shorts have their own algorithm, it’s entirely possible that freshness matters more with Shorts than with long-form videos. With that in mind, try uploading Shorts at least three times a week and see if that helps you get traction.

Bottom line

All in all, the best time to upload Shorts is when your audience — and potential new subscribers — usually watch YouTube. While there seems to be a consensus among marketers that Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings are the best times for posting YouTube videos, your audience might be more active at different times.

Moreover, it’s worth noting that most information online about the best time to post on YouTube is concerned with long-form videos, rather than Shorts. While it could be helpful to know the best average time frames for posting content on YouTube, especially when you’re just starting out, use them as reference points only.

Be sure to review YouTube analytics to understand your audience’s behavior and preferences. And remember that ultimately, what you post is more important than when you post it.

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Further reading

Nicholas Bouchard
About the author

Nicholas Bouchard

Nick Bouchard is a content writer and marketer with a passion for creation. His hobbies range from writing fiction to wrestling. He can only be photographed in national parks and on mountains, and pictures of him usually come out blurry. Some wonder if he even exists at all.
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