YouTube won’t be standing idly by as TikTok corners the market on short-form videos. The social media giant announced a new video format called “Shorts” on Monday morning, which are 15-second videos shot and shared on mobile devices.
You’ll soon see a new row of “Shorts” on YouTube’s homepage, and the service is expected to launch around the world after a trial run in select countries. If you’re a fan of TikTok, you’ll quickly notice a lot of similarities when watching Shorts. Users can quickly swipe from one video to the next, add music and text, adjust playback speed, quickly edit videos together, and the format features a timer for self-shot videos.
“Shorts” is launching a trial run in India, a country that quickly adopted TikTok as a go-to social media hub. We should also mention that India was one of the first countries to start banning Chinese apps, like TikTok, and Google seems keen on filling the void that the social media giant left behind.
In a blogpost Google added, “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 months as we learn from you and listen to your feedback.”
Google isn’t the only company taking on TikTok while it struggles to fight being shutdown in the United States. Facebook answered with “Instagram’s Reels” back in August, a format that works a lot like Instagram Stories, but with a stronger focus on quick edits, music, and AR tools for creators.
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