YouTube launches Shorts in a bid to take on TikTok's fan base

Sunday July 18 2021
YouTube Shorts

YouTube Shorts are aggressively being pushed to compete with TikTok, and to drive content creation. PHOTO | FILE


YouTube last week launched Short — a snippier version of its traditional online video sharing and social media platform — in over 100 countries, in what is seen as the American giant’s shot at getting its hands on a share of TikTok’s fan base.

Shorts was first announced in September and were tested in 26 countries around the world.

Short-form videos have grown in popularity over the past five years since the explosion of TikTok, which until recently had only a 60-second limit on its videos.

According to YouTube, Shorts is a new way to express yourself in 15 seconds or less. The app supports automatic captions, 60-second captures, adding pre-recorded clips from one's gallery, and colour-correcting filters among others.

Users will for the first time access Shorts’ creation tools including a multi-segment camera that enables them to string multiple video clips together, the ability to record their videos with music, control speed settings along with more features still in development, as the app is rolled out globally.

Though still a feature that is in beta testing, it will be available essentially wherever YouTube itself is available.


“As of today, the YouTube Shorts player has surpassed 6.5 billion daily views globally. It will be integrated into the YouTube experience users already know and love. For example, if a user hears a snippet of a song on Shorts, they can easily find the full video on YouTube,” said Todd Sherman, global product manager for YouTube.

YouTube Shorts are aggressively being pushed to compete with TikTok, and to drive content creation. Google has also said that it is setting up a YouTube Shorts Fund that will pay out a cumulative $100 million over the course of 2021-2022 to those that create the best short-form videos every month.

Anyone that creates a Short and adheres to the community guidelines is eligible.

“We’ll also ask these creators to share their feedback with us so we can continue to improve the product experience,” said Sherman.