YouTube is the latest platform to capitalise off TikTok’s success.
In a recent blog post, chief product officer Neal Mohan revealed that YouTube Shorts will be launching in beta to the U.S. in March. News that YouTube was working on a TikTok competitor first emerged in April 2020, with Shorts launching to India in September.
“Every year, increasing numbers of people come to YouTube to launch their own channel,” Mohan wrote. “But we know there’s still a huge amount of people who find the bar for creation too high. That’s why we’re working on Shorts, our new short-form video tool that lets creators and artists shoot snappy videos with nothing but their mobile phones.”
YouTube India has reportedly seen its creation tools triple since December with the introduction of Shorts. The bite-sized video sharing platform now sees more than 3.5 billion daily views globally.
YouTube Shorts is one piece of a larger strategy to keep creators engaged on the app. With the unfathomable success of TikTok— which has tripled its user base since 2018 and is forecasted to cross the 1 billion monthly active user mark this year— platforms like YouTube and Instagram are struggling to keep up. TikTok’s ability to viral, combined with the audience’s desire for unfiltered, off-the-cuff content, has made the app a creator favourite, with many choosing to focus primarily on growing their TikTok account.
In addition to Shorts, YouTube will roll out new monetisation features including applause, which allows viewers to buy a one-time clapping animation on a video they enjoy. Applause will show at the top of the video for others to see, and a portion of the revenue goes to the creator. The platform will also be launching an integrated shopping feature where audiences can purchase directly from channels through tagged products, as well as expanding their chapters feature which allows creators to timestamp their video timeline. The feature will now offer automated timestamping on videos.
*Reels is quaking.*