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YouTube is officially launching its own TikTok competitor Shorts

TikTok really is the popular kid on social media these days, as evidenced by the massive American tech companies arguing over who gets to buy part of it. Others, like Instagram, have tried to copy the format instead, and now YouTube has joined the fight.

YouTube today officially announced “Shorts,” a short format video feature that resides right inside the main app. While the company recently highlighted videos that lasted seconds on its mobile app, Shorts opens up new possibilities with video creation tools similar to those of TikTok and Reels. The feature starts as a beta in India.

Each short is a maximum of 1

5 seconds long. Multiple clips can be strung together, and YouTube uses its extensive library of licensed music so you can film with some background music movies. Users see a timer and countdown when they start filming, and they can control the recording speed to add some creative options.

So that users can actually use the function, YouTube has a button for uploading new videos at the bottom of the app’s navigation bar.

While the company is certainly jumping on the bandwagon, to be fair, YouTube is as entitled to the “Fun Short Video” format as anyone, considering the first video ever uploaded to the platform was only 18 seconds long. Many developers on the platform already specialize in short videos (some of which are from Vine), and there’s no shortage of 10-second meme videos either.

Alternatively, there could be more bloating on a platform that is already overflowing with content.

YouTube notes that while Shorts is in early beta, it is being released now to get feedback from users and to improve functionality over time. It’s nowhere near as comprehensive as TikTok, but it’s a start. Let’s just hope it’s the beginning of something that’s worthwhile.

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Published on September 15, 2020 – 00:44 UTC

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