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The Google-owned video streaming giant is bringing shortform video experience YouTube Shorts to U.S. users over the coming weeks. The U.S. launch comes after YouTube announced a beta test of the experience in India, where TikTok is banned, in September. Since then, Shorts have passed 6.5 billion daily views globally, the company says.
In a blog post, YouTube Shorts product lead Todd Sherman described the feature as being for “anyone who wants to create short, catchy videos using nothing but their mobile phones.” The product experience appears to mimic that of TikTok, which has popularized the concept of an algorithmically personalized feed with an infinite number of videos.
YouTube said it is still tweaking the product and is expected to add new features, like the ability to use audio from videos across YouTube, in the coming months.
To promote Shorts, YouTube has added a new section to its homepage that will highlight the shortform videos.
ByteDance-owned TikTok, which has been available in the U.S. for about two-and-a-half years, has become a dominant social media force, racking up more than 100 million monthly active users and minting new stars like Charli D’Amelio, Addison Rae and Tabitha Brown. Its popularity has tech stalwarts on guard. Last year, Instagram launched TikTok competitor Reels and Snapchat launched a similar feature called Spotlight.
In many ways, YouTube birthed the modern-day creator ecosystem, helping to mint digital millionaires with its program to share ad revenue with partners who posted videos to its platform. It remains one of the most robust platforms for building a lasting career as a creator. The company says it is still exploring how to add monetization to Shorts. “We are deeply committed to supporting the next generation of mobile creators with Shorts,” Sherman wrote in the blog post, “and are actively working on what monetization options will look like in the future.”
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