Alphabet Inc’s YouTube is rolling out its version of social media rival TikTok, a new short-form video service called Shorts, enabled within its video-sharing platform.
Although, reports of YouTube’s short-form video creator tool was announced months ago. “The Information” reported it in April that YouTube was developing a TikTok-like feature with a feed of super-short videos that will act as an alternative to longer vlogs and clips that appear on YouTube.
Alphabet Inc’s has finally decided to test run the new short-form video feature in India for a few days and then expand to more countries in the coming months with more features.
This YouTube’s new product will compete with Facebook Inc’s Reels and TikTok, by sporting similar features as the two. 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”, the Alphabet-owned video-sharing platform said in a post on its official blog.
YouTube’s entry into the short-form video service space coincides with TikTok’s ban in one of its biggest market, India, following the country’s escalating tensions with China.
TikTok was banned in India along with 58 other Chinese apps in June, weeks after a deadly Himalayan border clash between China and India. The country was the short video app’s biggest international market, with at least 120 million monthly active users reported before the ban. Japan’s SoftBank Group is considering assembling a group of bidders to acquire TikTok’s assets in India, Bloomberg reported earlier this month, citing people familiar with the matter.
The announcement also comes as Oracle Corp and China’s ByteDance team up to keep TikTok operating in the United States, beating Microsoft Corp in a deal structured as a partnership rather than an outright sale.
ByteDance, TikTok’s Chinese owner, had been in talks to divest the U.S. business of its hugely popular short-video app to Oracle or a consortium led by Microsoft Corp after U.S. President Donald Trump ordered the sale last month and said he might otherwise shut it down. President Donald Trump’s administration has threatened to ban TikTok by Sept. 20 and ordered owner ByteDance to sell its U.S. business, claiming national security risks due to its Chinese ownership.
Although this deal has been settled between Tiktok and Oracle, it is unclear whether Trump, who wants a US technology firm to own most of TikTok in the US, will approve the deal.
In conclusion, with all the forces against Tiktok, YouTube’s Shorts could be a strong competitor and the next short-video app to watch out for.