Skip to main content

YouTube set to take on TikTok with a new feature called Shorts

In two years, TikTok has become a cultural force to be reckoned with. With over a billion downloads and nearly 500 million active users, the short-form video app is today dominating screens across the world and catching the attention of several tech giants. Now, YouTube has reportedly set its sights on the video-sharing network’s surging popularity.

YouTube is developing a TikTok-like section that will live inside its main Android and iOS apps, according to The Information. Simply called “Shorts,” it will feature an endless feed of brief videos posted by users. Creators will also be able to take advantage of YouTube’s treasure trove of licensed music as the background score for their videos and shoot lip-syncing clips.

Dylan Byers, a Senior Media Reporter at MSNBC, said in a tweet that YouTube CEO, Susan Wojcicki confirmed the existence of Shorts in a podcast episode with him that is scheduled to air later this month.

Quirky editing tools are an imperative part of TikTok’s appeal but it’s unclear at the moment whether YouTube will offer a similar set of features. The Google-owned video platform already comes equipped with a handful of standard cropping and annotation abilities. We also don’t know if Google will adopt the same video length restrictions as TikTok’s 15-60 second limit.

YouTube isn’t the first large-scale tech company to take on TikTok. Instagram has been attempting to replicate its success for a year now. Last year, it updated the feed of its long-form video platform IGTV to function more like TikTok, and a couple of months later, cloned the majority of TikTok’s app inside Stories under a new section called Reels. Instagram’s parent, Facebook, has also released a TikTok clone dubbed Lasso.

YouTube, which today has over 2 billion monthly active users, has gone through several changes in the last year or two. The company added the ability for YouTubers to publish Snapchat-like stories and reach out to their viewers more often through a new social feed. Therefore, it remains to be seen how YouTube will plug in another major feature without cluttering up its app.  It’s also worth noting that Google’s Area 51 division, which is responsible for developing unique, experimental apps, recently launched Tangi, a TikTok-esque platform for sharing minute-long DIY videos.

Editors' Recommendations

Shubham Agarwal
Shubham Agarwal is a freelance technology journalist from Ahmedabad, India. His work has previously appeared in Firstpost…
What is Ambient Mode on YouTube?
The red and white YouTube logo on a phone screen. The phone is on a white background.

YouTube recently announced a number of changes to its video-watching interface. One of these changes is a new feature known as Ambient Mode.

In this guide, we'll go over exactly what Ambient Mode on YouTube is and show you how to enable or disable it.
What is Ambient Mode on YouTube?
Ambient Mode is basically a lighting effect that surrounds a given YouTube video with a soft, glowing light that usually reflects the colors featured in the video itself. The effect kind of resembles the glow of a television screen in a room where the lights are off (which YouTube has said was the inspiration for the effect). YouTube also said that Ambient Mode is supposed to make the video-watching experience of its dark mode "more immersive." Ambient Mode was officially announced in late-October 2022 and is available on the web, Android, and iOS.

Read more
Clear Mode on TikTok: Here’s what it is and how to use it
The TikTok app on a smartphone's screen. The smartphone is sitting on a white table.

When it comes to its features, TikTok is most known for all the fun bells and whistles you can add to a video that you create for its short-form video-sharing platform.

But what about the app's video-watching features? Those might be lesser known to you (or just less noticeable) because they're part of a more passive way of experiencing TikTok. But despite how easily video-watching features can fly under the radar, there is one new TikTok feature, that's worth knowing about. It's called "Clear Mode."

Read more
TikTok is launching a dedicated gaming channel
Person's hand holding a smartphone with TikTok's logo on screen, all in front of a blurred background.

TikTok is moving further into the games industry by launching its own dedicated gaming channel.

According to a report from Financial Times, the channel will allow TikTok users to access games by pressing a tab on the ByteDance-owned social media platform's homepage. Four people familiar with the matter said that the channel will feature a variety of mobile games — some of which the company already developed — with ads and additional content that users can purchase.

Read more