YouTube Announces Shorts to Take on TikTok and Reels

15 September, 2020 (Tuesday)

After the rampantly growing popularity of the short video format, YouTube has also entered the fray. It has announced that it will be launching TikTok-like ‘Shorts’ for its users in India. Just like TikTok and Reels, the Shorts will enable users to create 15-second videos that will have options for adding sound and recording in segments. Users will also be offered variable speed controls and hands-free recording among other features.

shorts

YouTube Explains,

“Over the next few days in India, we’re launching an early beta of Shorts with a handful of new creation tools to test this out. This is an early version of the product, but we’re releasing it now to bring you – our global community of users, creators and artists – on our journey with us as we build and improve Shorts. We’ll continue to add more features and expand to more countries in the coming month”

With the ban of TikTok, it was expected that YouTube would seize the opportunity and launch its own short for video format set to music given how there was an ongoing rivalry between the two platforms. However, it was Instagram that jumped first onto the trend to attract TikTokers to use Instagram as an alternative. It raises the question that months later, does it still make sense for YouTube to enter the game? Well, YouTube has more active users in India than Instagram and Snapchat and introducing a short-form video trend will do a great job of attracting a lot of audiences to the platform since it can be a one for all video consumption platform with a greater focus on the video creation and consumption experience than its competitors.

YouTube had actually been working on this short-form video format ahead of TikTok Being banned in India back in April but its delay in its actual release might have given competitors like Instagram and Snapchat a large chunk of possible audiences it could have mustered in the Indian market. At this point, the platform that offers the best features, user experience and discoverability will earn more creators and thus steal more exposure in the market.

Youtube has been working on making the platform more user friendly for creators and this new feature will be yet another addition in its arsenal for content creation. It is also adding a vertical feed like on TikTok and Reels, along with new discovery panels to increase the exposure for Shorts on the platform. It has encouraged users even outside of India to create more short-form videos since a global release for the feature is being planned in the upcoming months.