YouTube Begins Rolling Out TikTok Competitor, YouTube Shorts

The feature will roll out in India first, with Youtube attempting to go head-to-head with TikTok and bite a chunk out of their market share.


Similar to what Instagram did with Reels, YouTube is releasing a new short-form video creator called YouTube Shorts. The company intends for this to establish their name in the evolving genre of video shorts, a genre that TikTok has created and dominated.

Reports of YouTube’s short-form video creator tool came out several months ago, but now the company is launching an early beta beginning in India. Similar to TikTok, Shorts will let people make 15-second videos which can be set to music.

Music is available via an in-product music picker feature. The picker has an enormous quantity of tracks, and YouTube is also working hand in hand with music artists, labels and publishers to make more of their content available to continue expanding their catalogue.

These videos will appear on the homepage in a row dedicated to Shorts. An example of how Shorts will appear can be seen below.

YouTube is going to try to get as many people as possible to use its new Shorts feature, and that includes new “create” icon spots that will appear prominently in the app. The “create” icon rolled out with the Shorts beta on Android, with plans to bring the icon to iOS devices soon. There is currently no estimate for when Shorts may appear in other countries.

One factor YouTube’s announcement post tries to highlight for creators is the opportunity YouTube provides. The site has more than 2 billion monthly users, with YouTube noting that “we want to enable the next generation of mobile creators to also grow a community on YouTube with Shorts.”

Instagram’s team seemed to have parallel goals in mind with its TikTok clone, Reels. But the world has not been warmly receptive to their efforts. Instagram was never a video entertainment-first platform; YouTube is. A factor which may just work in their favour. The company is working with the intention that considering people already come to YouTube for short video entertainment, Shorts will be another way to keep people on the site longer and get both existing and new creators to continue uploading.

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