YouTube is rolling out its TikTok clone, Shorts, in The United States. The app which allows users to make short videos, is rolling out in beta.
YouTube Shorts was first announced in September 2020 and rolled out first in India. India was the first country to ban TikTok last year, creating a gap for an alternative short video-making app. YouTube has reported that the Shorts player receives up to 3.5 billion views every single day. This explains why the tech giant is eager to roll out the product to other markets.
Shorts operates a bit like TikTok, and will allow users to create short 15 second long videos which can be set to music. YouTube will avail the music through an “in-product music picker feature” A YouTube spokesperson said that the music picker currently has hundreds of thousands of music and the company was working with music producers, singers, and Record labels to add more tracks into their catalogue.
Since its worldwide popularity in early 2020, TikTok has managed to maintain its lead as a video-making app. Similar alternatives have since been developed including Instagram’s Reels and now Shorts. Facebook was also said to be working on an app called “Collab” with a similar concept but inclined towards music. Just last week, the company’s NPE Team released an experimental app called “BARS” for rappers.
TikTok faced backlash in 2020 for propagating violence, racism, and violence. The issues have since been addressed, but the app suffered a ban alongside 118 other Chinese apps in India. Tensions between the US and China also had the company on edge after former US President Donald Trump signed an executive order threatening to ban TikTok and other Chinese apps. Despite all these, the US remains the country with the highest number of TikTok installs.
The app is projected to surpass one billion monthly users this year. YouTube Shorts is hoping to take on the app in the rest of the markets too.