Google takes on TikTok with YouTube Shorts


TikTok has gained popularity and seemingly notoriety in recent months with the US government using it as a new weapon in its trade war with China. While it seems that Oracle is set to do a deal with TikTok so that it can continue operating in the US, Google has taken the opportunity to launch an alternative to the popular short-form video app in the form of YouTube Shorts.

Using only your smartphone, creators and artists will be able to shoot short and catchy videos. India is getting the first taste of YouTube Shorts in the form of an early beta where its creation tools will be tested out.

More features and the expansion to more countries are scheduled for the coming months as more feedback is received.

What is Shorts?

Shorts is a new way to express yourself in 15 seconds or less, and our team is focused on building its foundation across three main areas:

  • Create: Creation is at the core of short-form video, and we want to make it easy and fun to create Shorts. We’re starting to test just a few new tools for creators and artists with our early beta in India: 
    • multi-segment camera to string multiple video clips together,
    • The option to record with music from a large library of songs that will continue to grow,
    • Speed controls that give you the flexibility to be creative in your performance,
    • And a timer and countdown to easily record, hands-free.

There is already a dedicated row for short videos on the YouTube homepage and today brings a new watch experience that lets you swipe vertically from one video to the next.

Much like Twitter’s Reels, YouTube Shorts feels like a copycat feature riffing on TikTok’s premise. But, unlike Twitter, YouTube already has a userbase that uses its app to specifically watch videos. Hopefully, YouTube Shorts won’t take too long to reach the US and beyond.

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He’s been an Android fan ever since owning an HTC Hero, with the Dell Streak being his first phablet. He currently carries an OPPO Find X2 Pro in his pockets, a Galaxy Tab S5e in his backpack, and thinks nothing of lugging a 17-inch laptop around the world. When not immersed in the world of Android and gadgets, he’s an avid sports fan, and like all South Africans, he loves a good Braai (BBQ).

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