Since TikTok is in trouble with the U.S. government and it’s looking quite possible that it may end up being banned in the country, other platforms have been rushing to launch their own version of the popular service. YouTube is no exception, as it’s just launched YouTube Shorts, a new short-form experience featuring 15 second or less clips.
YouTube Shorts includes a new set of creator tools including a multi-segment camera similar to TikTok, speed controls, a timer and a countdown feature. Like TikTok, the videos can also be set to music, which is made possible thanks to YouTube’s large library of songs. Shorts users will be able to access a library of hundreds of thousands of songs hundreds from T-Series and Believe Digital already, but the company is also working with artists, labels and publishers for more songs to bolster the catalog.
The multi-segment camera allows the user to combine separate clips so you can create videos without needing to hold your phone. Reportedly, YouTube will also introduce the ability for a user to swipe through YouTube Shorts vertically, just like TikTok.
Shorts is being rolled out first in India, since TikTok has been banned there since late June. Some users in the U.S. have reported seeing the new feature in a new section of their YouTube home page, although users that don’t have it yet can start tagging their shorter videos that are less than 60 seconds as #Shorts in the title or description.
This market is getting crowded fast. Besides YouTube, Instagram and SnapChat also have short video features, as well as dedicated platforms like Triller, Dubsmash, Byte and others. It should be interesting to see who can wrestle away existing TikTok users, or if users will even be interested in a different platform.
Regardless of the platform that comes out on top, it looks like short form videos are here to stay.