YouTube's answer to TikTok: Shorts

YouTube’s answer to TikTok, Shorts, is set to be introduced into the US after a testing phase in India which saw the platform garner over 6.5 billion daily views. 

YouTube Shorts is destined to mirror the success TikTok is having with millennial and Gen-Z audiences as it allows users to create short-form content with no other equipment than their mobile phones. 

It comes in response to massively decreasing user attention spans even on YouTube where content creators are known for their longer videos. 

YouTube vlogger
The platform that is known for long-form content is now moving to try shorter clips.
YouTube vlogger
The platform that is known for long-form content is now moving to try shorter clips.

At this stage, Shorts will not be monetised, although YouTube is looking at how monetisation would operate in the future. 

The new feature was announced to be in beta last September and was tested in India owing to the fact that TikTok is banned there and so YouTube did not face any competition. 

Like TikTok, the platform will allow the upload of videos up to or less than 15 seconds.  Many of its features are similar to TikTok – the ability to string multiple video clips together, record with music from YouTube’s library, add text, sample other Shorts and control speed settings. 

They are looking to soon unlock the ability for Shorts’ creators to sample all content from YouTube. Creators will have the choice over whether or not to opt-in, in case they do not want their own content to be used. 

In terms of the existing music library, YouTube has partnered with labels and publishers like Sony, Warner and others in order to avoid any copyright infringement issues.

YouTube will also add a new feature that will allow users to swipe vertically from one video to another. There will be a dedicated carousel on the home page and a Shorts tab on mobile. 

For the moment, the platform is only available in Android although they plan to expand to iOS shortly. Likewise, it is unclear when Australian users will be able to avail of the platform.

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