Internet’s largest video sharing platform YouTube this week announced the rolling out of a brand new feature on their site: YouTube Shorts. The feature will allow it’s users to make a fifteen second or less short clip, similar to the format of the now banned Chinese application TikTok. It also includes a multi segment camera, video speed controls, a timer and a countdown feature. Also, YouTube will introduce a new watch experience that lets you swipe through YouTube Shorts vertically, just like TikTok.
YouTube users can start creating videos by pressing the plus (+) icon and then selecting “video.” The “create a short video” is an option for the Shorts camera. For Android users in India, however, you’ll see the “create” icon has been moved to the bottom of the navigation bar for easier access, YouTube mentioned.
The YouTube Shorts feature will be shown primarily in Android’s YouTube app, and will eventually spread to iOS.
This is not the first time a famous networking medium has tried to clone another famous application’s features. Instagram too, recently came up with the feature called “Reels”. Just like TikTok, Instagram Reels allows people to have video creation tools for making short videos. The videos mostly are 15 seconds multi-clips.
To begin with the feature’s launching, India will be the first country to officially use Youtube Shorts as a video creation option on YouTube. India too, has banned TikTok recently due to a wider disputation between the country and China, and it is a good chance for YouTube to shine out. The aim is to carry the function to more markets gradually. But YouTube, till now, has notified no timeframe for it.
Instagram, Snapchat and now YouTube are among those looking to gain an edge in releasing their own short-form video products by making full use of the uncertainty around TikTok.
Meanwhile those who do not have the feature, can somehow participate by tagging their shorter videos under a time span of a minutes as #Shorts in the title or description. These videos will be evaluated on the new YouTube home page, along with other short vertical videos.
This function is “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,” Chris Jaffe, YouTube vice president of product management wrote in a blog post.
“We actually have introduced stories on YouTube and we’ve actually seen our creators really engage with the stories,” said YouTube’s longest tenured CEO Susan Wojcicki to NBC News’ Dylan Byers on an episode of his podcast. “That would be an example of really short-form content. So we will definitely continue to innovate in all the different format sizes, including really short-form video.”
Given that people are already coming to YouTube for short video entertainment, the company hopes that Shorts can be another way to keep users on the web longer and encourage both current and new creators to continue uploading.