Google launches YouTube Shorts, its TikTok competitor

YouTube Premium on a Galaxy S9
YouTube Premium on a Galaxy S9 (Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google is launching YouTube Shorts, a new short-video format on the streaming video service.
  • The format is reminiscent of popular short-form video app, TikTok.
  • YouTube Shorts will roll out first in India in beta, where TikTok is banned.

Google has announced YouTube Shorts, a new video experience for YouTube that's similar in implementation to TikTok. It's a "new short-form video experience right on YouTube for creators and artists who want to shoot short, catchy videos using nothing but their mobile phones", Google says. Creators can shoot short videos of up to 15 seconds, add music to fit, and have it displayed on a vertically scrolling section of the YouTube app. Google says that creators will have a lot of control over the creation experience, including a multi-segment camera for stringing a series of short video together, speed controls, a timer, and the aforementioned music soundtrack.

Youtube Shorts

Source: Google (Image credit: Source: Google)

TikTok has seen its fair share of controversy in the past few weeks. Most recently, it has been threatened with a ban in the U.S. There's something to be said about Google launching its TikTok inspired service in Indis, where the service has already been banned. The format itself is nothing novel, Vine did it first, after all, and its revamp Byte still ties tor recapture its lost magic. More recently, Facebook is still trying to capture TikTok's audience with Instagram Reels.

Where YouTube Shorts could excel is its algorithm. YouTube's algorithm is notorious for serving users content it thinks they'll like without discernment. That's essentially what TikTok's For You Page does. Google notes that its "new watch experience that lets you easily swipe vertically from one video to the next, plus discover other similar short videos," another interface quirk borrowed from TikTok and Reels.

YouTube Shorts is rolling out first to India, and then globally over the next few months.

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