YouTube launches its TikTok rival ‘YouTube Shorts’
It may appear that Shorts has been rushed out after TikTok’s problems in the US – an accusation also levied at Instagram’s new Reels.
But the new short-form video experience went into test-mode with selected creators early in the northern summer, before President Trump’s executive order attempting to force TikTok’s sale.
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki previously said on NBC News’ Dylan Byers’ podcast: “We actually have introduced stories on YouTube and we’ve actually seen our creators really engage with the stories.
“That would be an example of really short-form content. So we will definitely continue to innovate in all the different format sizes, including really short-form video.”
However, it’s significant that Shorts’ first international market is India, where TikTok had 200 million users before the government closed it down.
YouTube has not revealed when Shorts arrives in Australia where TikTok currently has 1.6 million users.
The new kid has familiar features for users to upload 15-second clips in an “easy and fun” way.
Tools include a multi-segment camera, speed controls to be more creative, and a timer and a countdown feature.
A new “watch experience lets you easily swipe vertically from one video to the next, plus discover other similar short videos.”
Shorts will be found within the YouTube app on Android, and will expand to iOS in time.
The clips can be set to music, selected from an in-product music picker feature with 100,000 tracks from partners including T-Series and Believe Digital.
YouTube Shorts / YouTube
“We’re working with music artists, labels and publishers to make more of their content available to continue expanding our catalogue,” YouTube revealed.
With 2 billion monthly users, YouTube blogged said: “We want to enable the next generation of mobile creators to also grow a community on YouTube with Shorts.
“We’ll continue to add more features and expand to more countries in the coming months as we learn from you and listen to your feedback.”
In the meantime, Microsoft revealed why its buy-out offer of TikTok was rejected by ByteDance, even though it was considered the front-runner.
“We are confident our proposal would have been good for TikTok’s users, while protecting national security interests,” it said.
“To do this, we would have made significant changes to ensure the service met the highest standards for security, privacy, online safety, and combatting disinformation, and we made these principles clear in our August statement.
“We look forward to seeing how the service evolves in these important areas.”
Reports overnight indicate that ByteDance is not selling the app to Oracle, but working with it as a tech partner in the US.