TikTok has chosen Oracle to be its US technology partner and its proposed deal is under review by the Trump administration. As this is happening, YouTube has gone on and launched it’s rival to TikTok; YouTube Shorts.
YouTube announced on their official blog that they are working on YouTube Shorts, a new short-form video experience right on YouTube for creators and artists who want to shoot short, catchy videos using nothing but their mobile phones.
They also mentioned than YouTube Shorts will be launching as an early beta in India in a few days. The early version of the product is said to feature a handful of creating tools and it will expand to more countries in the coming months with added features.
What is YouTube Shorts?
No matter how you look at it, it looks like TikTok.
It is generally a short video to be creative and express yourself. However, it is limited to 15 seconds as of now compared to the 60 second limit of TikTok.
So you get to upload a 15 second or less short video including a multi-segment camera, similar to TikTok, speed controls, and a timer and a countdown feature. The videos can also be recorded on top of music just like TikTok. YouTube does have access to a large library of songs and says it will continue to grow over time.
Users can start recording a Short with the new create icon that has been prominently placed in the YouTube app for Android (expanding to iOS soon).
YouTube says that India will be the first country to get access to YouTube shorts. And, this is primarily due to its huge market and the fact that TikTok is currently banned in India. However, it plans to bring this feature to more markets as it continues to grow.
Related to this, YouTube will also introduce a new watch experience that lets you swipe through YouTube Shorts vertically just like TikTok. They have added a new row on the YouTube homepage for watching short videos, and now the new watch experience will make it easier to watch that content and discover new short videos, too, YouTube says.
Techcrunch reports that YouTube Shorts will feature hundreds of thousands of tracks from partners like T-Series and Believe Digital. It’s also working with music artists, labels, and publishers to make more of their content available in the YouTube Shorts’ catalog.
YouTube Shorts is not Just a TikTok Clone
With TikTok’s future in jeopardy, competitors have been testing their own version of short-form videos. After TikTok’s ban in India, Instagram Reels began testing in India and now YouTube is doing the same with YouTube Shorts.
The feature set makes Youtube Shorts a TikTok clone but YouTube Shorts has a key differentiating factor and that is numbers. TikTok boasts 700 million monthly active users while Instagram has 1 billion monthly active users. Then, YouTube has more monthly active users that both TikTok and Instagram combined at 2 billion.
That is a far greater audience of people who can discover content created with YouTube Shorts. Also, YouTube’s monetization feature makes it appealing to content creators.
So, it may look like a Tik Tok clone but YouTube Shorts could turn out to be the biggest player in the short-form video platform.