Skip to main content

Downloaded YouTube Shorts clips will soon include watermarks

YouTube Shorts that are shared to other platforms will soon sport a new feature: a watermark.

On Wednesday, a reply was posted to a YouTube Help Community page titled “New Features and Updates for Shorts Viewers & Creators.” The reply was posted by a Community Manager and contained a product update announcement regarding Shorts that essentially said that watermarks would be automatically added to Shorts that are downloaded and shared to other platforms.

The reasoning behind rolling out this new watermark feature was also included in the reply post:

“We’ve added a watermark to the Shorts you download so your viewers can see that the content you’re sharing across platforms can be found on YouTube Shorts.”

But since Shorts is basically YouTube’s answer to the wildly popular short-form video content from a particularly fierce competitor (TikTok), we have to wonder if there’s more to it than that. Are the watermarks just a way to remind viewers on other platforms that more of the same content exists on YouTube? Or is it a way to get creators to prioritize producing more original content rather than relying on cross-platform sharing of the same posts?

Honestly? It could be both. Watermarks do offer a way for platforms like YouTube to promote itself on other apps.

But for TikTok’s competitors, there’s also been a push for more original content on their own platforms. Instagram has already said that it would adjust its rankings to value original content more, meaning original posts would then get more attention than content reposted from other apps. A watermark that reveals that your post was reposted from another app (like YouTube) could then possibly hurt that post in the rankings on Instagram. Watermarks could then, in this case, act as a deterrent for creators wanting to repost content from other platforms.

The new watermark feature for YouTube Shorts is expected to roll out on desktop in the next few weeks and is slated to be available on mobile “over the coming months.”

Editors' Recommendations

Anita George
Anita has been a technology reporter since 2013 and currently writes for the Computing section at Digital Trends. She began…
YouTube’s dislike button is barely functional, says Mozilla
Person Holding Tablet Computer Showing Videos

YouTube's dislike button does nothing for the algorithm, a new Mozilla study has found. We continue to see content we don't want no matter how much we mash that thumbs down. The same goes for "Not Interested" and "Don't recommend this channel" options.

The report, titled Does This Button Work? Investigating YouTube's Ineffective User Controls, comes after a months-long study of YouTube behavior by the Mozilla Foundation. They enlisted the help of 20,000 volunteer web users through an extension on Mozilla's Firefox browser, the RegretsReporter.

Read more
This beloved TikTok feature is coming to YouTube Shorts
Two mobile devices showing two people dancing in YouTube Shorts videos.

YouTube Shorts, the video-sharing website's answer to TikTok videos, is getting a new comment reply feature and with it, looks more like its wildly popular competitor.

On Thursday, the new feature was announced via an update to a YouTube Help thread titled "New Features and Updates for Shorts Viewers & Creators." The announcement was posted by a TeamYouTube community manager.

Read more
YouTube is finally getting serious about podcasts
The red and white YouTube logo on a phone screen. The phone is on a white background.

Podcasts certainly aren't new to YouTube, but the popular video-sharing site appears to be making it easier to find them on its sprawling platform.

9to5Google has reported that YouTube has created a dedicated Explore page for podcasts and that it is currently live on the site for some users. The new Podcasts page is apparently still rolling out and has been since at least late July. While not everyone is able to view the new podcast Explore page right now, some of us at Digital Trends have been able to access it.

Read more