The exponential rise of TikTok had many tech giants itching to get a piece of this emerging market. As a result, many of them have included – or plan on including – some form of short video creation on their respective platforms. YouTube was one of the companies that first started developing its short-form video experience to compete with the high-flying TikTok.
What are YouTube Shorts?
YouTube Shorts allows creators to shoot short videos with their smartphones. The created videos can’t last more than 15 seconds and can be made by combining several short clips into one.
Furthermore, creators can customize the playback speed using an editor, record music, or add music from YouTube’s library. The first beta version of Shorts was launched in September 2020 in India. Since its launch, the developers at YouTube had made several adjustments and improvements.
YouTube Shorts coming to the United States
Same as in India, YouTube Shorts first will first be released in beta mode. There is no word from YouTube about how long they plan to keep YouTube shorts in beta mode and whether it will be available all over the US or in just some territories.
In his blog post, Mohan explained the many features of YouTube Shorts and the upcoming monetization features that should please creators.
One of the monetization features is called Applause. Buyers will be able to purchase a clapping animation that will be shown on top of the video. A certain percentage of the purchase will be awarded to the video creator. This feature is almost identical to Super Chat. Mohan did not explain when exactly creators will be able to access this feature, just that it would happen later this year.
Then there is something called a “new integrated shopping experience.” They are planning to introduce it at some point this year as well. The idea is to allow people to buy various products from channels they find trustworthy.
Creators will be able to tag a product(s) that their viewers will be able to buy. The list of available products will be limited to those within YouTube’s catalog. At the moment, YouTube’s catalog contains only electronics and beauty products.
Will YouTube Shorts disrupt TikTok?
In India, the number of YouTube Shorts users tripled since the last month of 2020. Shorts received well over 3.5 billion views globally per day. The numbers look impressive, and the number of views will reach new heights as soon as Shorts land in the United States. At the same time, TikTok is well on track to hit one billion monthly active users this year.
All in all, 2021 will be a big year for short videos as YouTube will do its best to disrupt Tiktok’s dominance. Will it happen? Let’s wait and watch.