Does it ever feel like the world is speeding up around you? Some people put this down to ageing, some to the new interconnectivity of our digital society, and others attribute it to the fact that we live in an age of technology. However, here, we’re talking specifically about media. In 2023, short form content is trending. More than ever before, people want access to short clips, videos, films, games, songs, and other media-based content. The collective attention span is shortening – and that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. 

Just think of the ‘ideal’ pop song, as perfected in the 1960s by producers such as Phil Spector. Coming in at around the 3-minute mark, the most popular of pop songs are easily digestible and over so quickly that you’re left wanting more. The same is true for other short form content, including funny videos on TikTok, mobile gaming titles, and, naturally, short films. 
Below, we’ll delve deeper into why short form is currently king. 

Social Media

Although traditional longform blogging is staging something of a comeback through platforms like Substack, social media has been a champion of shortform content for many years now. And the most visible culprit in this cultural shift has been TikTok. Rather than posting still photos, status updates or longer videos, TikTok users commonly film and upload very short video clips. Although the app started out with a 15-second cut off point, clips can now be extended up to that magic time of 3 minutes, and even beyond that, up to 10 minutes long. 
In a fast-moving world, short form video content is easily accessed through mobile apps like TikTok, Instagram’s Reels, and YouTube’s Shorts. Whether waiting in line at a café, commuting on public transport, or relaxing at home, content covering comedy, make-up, fashion, politics, news, crafts, exercise and more need only take minutes to consume. This means that the storytelling and connection offered by social media is more readily available to everyone. 


MOBAs, or multiplayer online battle arenas, are some of the most popular games on the planet right now. And one of the most played (and watched) titles is Mobile Legends: Bang Bang. As suggested by its name, this game is played on a mobile device and has amassed over 1 billion downloads since its 2016 release. The extreme popularity of ML: Bang Bang is due to just how fast a game can take place. Whereas traditional MOBA matches can take around 45 minutes to complete, this title boasts 10 second matchmaking and 10-minute matches. 

Meanwhile, within the iGaming sector, different variations of poker have risen in popularity as online platforms can offer short form games alongside more traditional experiences. Forms of poker such as spin & go tournaments focus heavily on fast pacing and a quicker playing time. These modified versions of a familiar game mean that anybody can play with whatever spare time they have available, including when they’re on the move, as online platforms are easily accessed via mobile. 

Short Films

Although the choice to make a short film rather than a feature length production is sometimes down to necessity rather than preference, this genre is still an artform in its own right. Just as a short story or novella can pack a powerful punch with its clarity, imagery and poignancy, so too can a short film. And they are starting to become more and more popular. A shorter runtime means that the filmmaker must convey their message more succinctly and, arguably, with more power than a feature length film of 90 minutes or more. This direct approach appeals to the modern viewer. 
In a time when a lot of us have something to say on many different important subjects, audiences seem to appreciate the ability of a short film to cut through and make its point within just a few minutes. Oscar-nominated shorts such as The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse have won over the public and become mainstream phenomena, rather than remaining the private pleasure of film buffs and those ‘in the know’.