As TikTok’s fate in the U.S. remains murky, YouTube announced the launch of a new short video experience called YouTube Shorts. This feature will allow users, initially in India, to upload short videos of 15 seconds or less using a new set of creator tools, including a multi-segment camera similar to TikTok, speed controls, timer, and countdown feature. Videos can also be set to music, thanks to YouTube's access to a large library of songs that it says will continue to grow over time.
The multi-segment camera allows users to group multiple videos into a short clip. Other controls allow YouTube creators to be more creative than simply hitting the "record" button.
These are common tools in the TikTok video recording experience today and are the same features that Instagram recently played for its rival TikTok, known as Reels.
The feature will be featured prominently highlighted within the YouTube app on Android and will expand to iOS in time.
YouTube says that India, particularly the large market where Chinese TikTok has already been banned, will be the first to be able to access YouTube shorts at launch. However, the plan is to take the lead to more markets in time. However, YouTube did not provide a timeline for when this would happen.
Regarding this, YouTube will introduce a new viewing experience that will allow you to scroll vertically through YouTube shorts, just like TikTok. The company has already added a new row on the YouTube home page for watching short videos, and now the new viewing experience will make it easier to view this content and discover new short videos as well, YouTube says.
YouTube earlier this summer announced plans to start testing a short video feature but didn't provide much detail, not even the name of the feature. At the time, YouTube said the test would include recording 15-second videos on both iOS and Android, but only among a small group of creators.
The company explained to Business2Business that this prior experience was part of the Shorts product and that it was a multi-part camera experience globally. But what's new today are music recording options, speed controls, a timer, and a countdown timer.
Additionally, YouTube will feature shorts from hundreds of thousands of tracks from partners like T-Series and Believe Digital. He also works with music artists, production companies, and publishers to make more of their content available on the YouTube Short Catalog.
News of YouTube's biggest shorts launch comes as the deadline for TikTok's US M&A approaches is approaching. Microsoft has now announced that it will no longer be the buyer, with reports claiming that Oracle won the tender, but their agreement was not presented as a complete sale.
The possible exit from TikTok has already seen many competing social platforms looking to attract TikTok users to their own app. Instagram, Snapchat, and now YouTube are among those looking to get a head start by taking advantage of the instability around TikTok to launch their short video products. More TikTok competitors, such as Triller, Dubsmash, Byte, and others, have also found new customers.
YouTube says the new feature will roll out in India in the coming days. YouTube Short is a test that aims to learn, with the goal of expanding the reach and improving the product over time.
If you have access to Short Camera, you can start creating videos by pressing the plus (+) icon (or briefly, the video camera icon on iOS), then selecting "video." If you see "Create a short video" as an option, then you have a short camera. However, for Android users in India, you will see the "create" icon moved to the bottom of the navigation bar for easy access, YouTube says.
Those without this feature can share to some extent by tagging short videos (under 60 seconds) as #Shorts in the title or description. It will be tested on the new YouTube home page, along with other short vertical videos.
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