YouTube Shorts debuts in the U.S. — but what does the future look like for the TikTok competitor?

Mashable 18 Mar 2021 11:28
Can YouTube Shorts take on TikTok?
Can YouTube Shorts take on TikTok?
Image: SOPA Images/LightRocket via Gett

After months of beta testing in India, YouTube Shorts has arrived in the United States.

On Thursday, YouTube announced that it’s begun rolling out its shortform video TikTok competitor in the U.S. 

While Shorts videos could have been viewed stateside since the beta launch, the creator tools that facilitate YouTube Shorts are making their debut in the U.S. today.

The YouTube Shorts section as seen on the YouTube mobile app's main page.

The YouTube Shorts section as seen on the YouTube mobile app's main page.

Image: Youtube

YouTube also announced that it has partnerships with 250 music labels and publishers, such as Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Publishing, Warner Music Group and more. This is a huge starting point for a new shortform video app, given how music edits and dance videos make up a large portion of the most popular content on TikTok.

YouTube Shorts product lead Todd Sherman walked Mashable through the platform and answered some questions as to where Shorts is headed.

Over the years, YouTube has cemented itself as the place for longer videos whereas other platforms, like the now-defunct Vine and TikTok, stepped in for bite-sized clips. 

In fact, YouTube’s system will pull any square or rectangle vertical video (dimensions common when shooting video with your smartphone in portrait mode) that’s sixty seconds in length or less into the YouTube Shorts feed. There’s no need to include the “#Shorts” hashtag.

For creators, the chance to build up their channel may be the biggest draw for YouTube Shorts. For now at least, YouTube Shorts are not monetized, even if you're a creator who is part of YouTube’s monetization program.

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