Just as Instagram did with Reels, YouTube is creating a new short-form video producer called YouTube Shorts, which the company expects to divert some attention from TikTok.
Reports of YouTube’s short-form video maker tool surfaced several months ago, but now the company is making an early beta debut in India. Similar to TikTok, the shorts will let people create 15-second videos that can be set to music. A YouTube spokesman said the music is available through the “in-product music picker feature” The ledge. Picker “currently has 100,000 tracks, and we are working with music artists, labels and publishers to continue their catalog to make their content more available.”
These videos will appear on the homepage in a line dedicated to company shorts, announced in a blog post. An example of how the shorts will look can be seen below.
YouTube is going to try to get more and more people to use its new shorts feature, and includes new “Create” icon spots that will feature prominently in the app. The “make” icon was brought out with Shorts Beta on Android, with plans to bring the icon to iOS devices soon. A YouTube spokesperson said that there is currently no speculation that shorts may appear in other countries, including the United States.
One factor YouTube’s announcement post tries to highlight is for creators that YouTube offers. The site has over 2 billion monthly users, noting that “we also want to enable the next generation of mobile manufacturers to grow a community on YouTube with shorts.”
“We’ve actually introduced stories on YouTube and we’ve actually seen our producers actually engage with the stories,” CEO Susan Wojski told NBC News’ Dylan Byers in an episode of her podcast. “This would be an example of really short form content. So we will definitely continue to innovate in all different format sizes, including actually short-form video. “
Instagram’s team took into account similar goals with their Ticktalk clone, Reels, but the immediate response to the feature has not been super positive. In actual fact, many of the videos that appear in the reels (from non-partisan influencers and brands) seem to me to be direct re-uploads of other Tickcock videos. But, of course, Instagram was never a video entertainment-first platform; YouTube is the company looking forward to getting both existing and new creators to keep people on the shorts site longer and uploading, given that people already on YouTube for short video entertainment. Will be the way.