With TikTok out of commission in India and faced with an uncertain future in the US, YouTube has launched its own short-format video platform that it hopes will be able to fill the void created by the Chinese-owned viral video app. Called YouTube Shorts, the new service will allow users to create short videos of up to 15 seconds and upload it to the platform.
YouTube is rolling out what it calls an ‘early beta’ of the new service in India, with plans to eventually make it available globally. Shorts will be initially available within the regular YouTube app on Android, but the company says it will also be available on iOS soon.
The service offers a ‘multi-camera segment’ that enables creators to shoot different videos and stitch them together using a set of built-in editing tools. Apart from that, creators can also monitor the speed of their videos and add music to their videos using YouTube’s song library. There’s also a timer and countdown system that will enable creators to record their videos hands-free.
Much like TikTok, YouTube Shorts is specially designed for capturing short videos shot in portrait mode. It also enables users to swipe vertically to go from one video to the next and discover other similar short videos – further cluttering the core experience of its video streaming app. The company promises to make more changes and introduce more features in the coming days to make the experience even more comprehensive.
Following the TikTok ban in India, a number of companies, big and small, have come out with similar offerings, including homegrown alternatives like Chinagari, Mitron, Moj, and more. However, the one that seems to have got some immediate traction is Instagram Reels, which the Facebook-owned firm launched earlier this year.