YouTube Shorts tests letting users turn comments into TikTok-style videos

YouTube Shorts logo on a mobile phone
(Image credit: Jay Bonggolto / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • YouTube Shorts viewers can now create content based on comments on a video they're watching as part of a test, and the creators of the original video have no control over this feature. 
  • The comment-based Short will show up in the Shorts feed and on the viewer’s channel page.
  • Authors of comments featured in a Short, as well as the creators of the video on which the comment appears, will not be notified when a video based on their content is created.

YouTube Shorts is giving viewers the ability to turn comments into their own TikTok-style videos as part of a new experiment.

In another attempt to copy some of TikTok's features, YouTube now lets users create content from comments they see on a video they are watching (via Android Police). So, if you see a comment on a YouTube Shorts video that you think is funny or creative, you can now use it to create your own Short.

It is not clear how the new feature will work, but this new type of viewer-created Shorts featuring comments heavily borrows from an existing TikTok feature. For what it's worth, you can make a short video out of comments left on a TikTok video by tapping on it and then selecting the video icon to the left of the comment compose box.

Presumably, you could tap on a comment and then select a button for creating your own Short. The viewer-created Shorts will show up on that user's channel page as well as in the Shorts feed.

With this new feature, viewers can take inspiration from the comments of other users and turn them into short, catchy videos. This could be a great way for viewers to share their own thoughts and ideas about Shorts videos they stumble upon on the platform.

There's a catch for creators, though. Comment authors have no way of preventing their comments from being featured in a Short, nor do creators have control over it, unless comments are turned off for their videos. Additionally, YouTube will not notify the creator of the original video and the commenter when their clip and comment are used to create a Short with this method.

If you are concerned about comments on your videos being used in Shorts, you can turn off comments for your channel.

YouTube says the latest experiment is live for a small set of users on Android and iOS worldwide. So next time you see a comment that you think is funny or creative on a Shorts video, you can turn it into a Short of your own instead of just leaving a like.

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer & Reviewer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.