What you need to know
- YouTube Shorts has announced several new features coming in the next few weeks.
- Collabs let you film split-screen content with another user's Short.
- You can now live-stream in Shorts with the same Super Chat, Super Stickers, and channel memberships as traditional YouTube.
- Shorts is also adding new editing tools for converting old YouTube videos into Shorts.
- Other new updates include a Q&A sticker, saving Shorts to playlists, and stealing audio and visual effects automatically from other Shorts for your own videos.
Compared to Instagram Reels and TikTok, YouTube Shorts sometimes feels behind the competition in terms of engagement, collaboration, and new features. On Tuesday, Google announced "new" features that sound like they're lifted straight from Shorts' competitors, which should help it close that gap.
In this YouTube blog post, Senior Director Sarah Ali described Collabs, which let you "record a Short in a side-by-side format with other YouTube or Shorts videos." Like TikTok Duets or Reels Remixes, Collabs will make YouTube Shorts more collaborative between different creators.
Remix suggestions are another new collaborative tool. You can pause a Short and select Remix > Use Sound, and it'll sample whatever sound and visual was playing in the video at that point. You can then import it into your video and use it however you please.
Last month, we reported how Google was testing another TikTok-inspired feature: responding to comments directly with a video. Ali confirmed this feature while also showing off a new Q&A sticker. Creators can have a question pop up during the video, so viewers can tap Answer and respond directly in a thread in the comments.
Next, just like TikTok Live, YouTube Shorts has begun testing vertical live-streamed videos that'll appear in your Shorts feed. This will give Shorts creators a new way to profit off of Super Chat donations and memberships — though live streams where you engage with commenters don't exactly seem "short."
YouTube Shorts will also receive "new recomposition tools that will help you more easily transform your horizontal videos into Shorts." In this case, converting old YouTube videos to Shorts is a unique perk to this app, but the editing tools have left something to be desired in the past. When the new tools roll out "in the coming weeks," it should make it easier for creators to break into Shorts with old content.
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Michael spent years freelancing on every tech topic under the sun before settling down on the real exciting stuff: virtual reality, fitness wearables, gaming, and how tech intersects with our world. He's a semi-reformed Apple-to-Android user who loves running, D&D, and Star Wars. Find him on Twitter at @Michael_L_Hicks.