YouTube’s TikTok branch, YouTube Shorts, is spreading in the United States as we speak. The feature launched in India this September and was first spotted on US devices by XDA Developers. Just like TikTok, Shorts allows users to make and share one-minute bite-sized videos, and users can slide between them in the mobile app.
The YouTube Shorts tab appears on the Mobile Apps tab on the YouTube home screen and is currently in beta. It works just like TikTok, launches a full-screen vertical video interface, and users can slide vertically between videos. As you expect, you may like, dislike, comment and share short. You can also tap a username from the Shorts interface to see all the shorts from that user. The downside to YouTube is that shorts are too regular YouTube videos and appear on traditional channel pages and in subscription feeds where they are no different from normal videos. They have the normal YouTube interface instead of the fast TikTok interface. This seems to be the only way to watch these videos on your desktop.
Much of TikTok is a video editor that allows users to make videos with many effects, music, filters, and variable playback speeds that contribute to TikTok’s signed video style. The YouTube Shorts editor looks almost featureless by comparison, offering only speed options and some music.
TikTok has only ~ 40 million users in the United States, but is expected to reach 1 billion users worldwide in 2021, according to App Annie. Most of these users are from TikTok’s home country, China, where there are 400 million active users a day.
YouTube is the largest video platform in the world, and the site’s plan to eliminate competitors with a new video format is to almost always clone them. YouTube did this best in 2015 when it launched YouTube Gaming, a live gaming platform in the veins of Amazon’s Twitch.tv. YouTube Gaming’s standalone interface was shut down four years later, but streaming and chat features have caught on with several different communities, and there’s still a small live gaming community on YouTube. In 2017, YouTube launched its Snapchat photocopiers and created YouTube Stories (originally launched as “YouTube Reels”), which allow channels to create short update videos that disappear after seven days. He now points to TikTok with these one-minute videos. Facebook also launched after TikTok with Instagram Reels.
YouTube Shorts first launched in India in September – a smart move since TikTok has been banned in India since June. With no competition from India, YouTube Shorts launched in the country, with YouTube recently announcing that Shorts received “over 3.5 billion daily views.” TikTok is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance and this won him (and over 100 other Chinese services) a ban in India. TikTok was also attacked by the Trump administration and we expected it to be bought by Oracle for a while. After losing the election, the Trump administration lost interest in TikTok and now it looks like the company will be able to continue operating in the United States.
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