Snap Inc on Monday rolled out a new feature, “Spotlight”, that would compete with ByteDance-owned TikTok and Instagram Reels. This feature would allow users to share short-form videos publicly in its Snapchat app, adding a service

According to the company, users, who could previously share snaps or stories with friends, can now share them directly to Spotlight and gather more followers.

In the blog post, snap Inc claimed to have designed Spotlight to entertain its community while living up to Snapchat values, with its community’s well being as a top priority. Spotlight content is moderated and doesn’t allow for public comments.  Therefore, for the opportunity to earn money, every snaps you submit to Spotlight must follow the company’s content guidelines and Terms. And users must be 16 or older to earn. 

Snapchat spotlight

The company said it would give about $1 million every day throughout the remainder of 2020 to users whose snaps make it to the top of the platform, in a bid to boost engagement with the feature.

Spotlight is available starting in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, and France, with more countries coming soon.  

This new update is the company strategy to increase growth and remain relevant and stay competitive in the industry. In July Snap reported a bump in user growth at the start of coronavirus-led lockdowns petered out sooner than expected, and it forecast fewer current-quarter users than the Wall Street consensus.

Earlier this year, Facebook Inc launched Instagram Reels – the company’s version of TikTok wherein users can record short mobile-friendly videos, then add special effects and soundtracks pulled from a music library.

YouTube also launches a new short-form video service called Shorts, enabled within its video-sharing platform.

Instagram Reels

Much like TikTok, Instagram Reels offers you a set of creative tools to create fun, engaging short videos on Instagram. Record and edit 15-second multi-clip Reels videos with audio, text, special effects, and stickers, then share them with your followers. You can also share reels with your followers on Feed, and, if you have a public account, make them available to the wider Instagram community through a new space in Explore.

Reels offers several editing tools, including AR effects, speed controls, and the option to align multiple clips for cleaner transitions. Although unlike TikTok whose video time limit is up to 1 minute, reels only allow users can create a 15-second video only which when shared to stories will disappear after 24 hours, but, all videos stay on TikTok.

Instagram Reels is only a new feature inside the overarching Instagram ecosystem unlike TikTok which is a platform on its own, therefore, the Snapchat “Spotlight” will be similar to Reels more than TikTok. To access Reels, simply open the Instagram Stories camera and choose REELS.

Instagram Reels are now available for over 50 other countries, including the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, and Japan, on both iOS and Android.

YouTube’s Shorts 

Shorts will let users record short mobile-friendly vertical videos and then add special effects and soundtracks pulled from a music library.

YouTube’s Shorts will also offer the following features to video creators: Create and upload videos of 15-seconds or less, edit videos with a number of creative tools, stitch shorter clips together with a multi-segment camera, add music to videos from YouTube’s library, speed up or slow down videos, and film hands-free using a timer and countdown, while users can swipe vertically between videos.

With Shorts, users can also start recording a short with the new create icon that has been prominently placed in the YouTube app for Android (expanding to iOS soon).

However, this new feature or platform is not standalone, it, will be part of YouTube’s existing app and allow creators to “shoot short, catchy videos using nothing but their mobile phones”

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