YouTube Launches Shorts to Compete with TikTok

Women filming

Photo by Artem Podrez from Pexels

Could YouTube Shorts be the new TikTok?

With one billion active users, TikTok is absolutely crushing the short-form video space. In the hopes of snagging a piece of that pie, YouTube has launched Shorts (or #Shorts), a platform for users to create their own TikTok-esque short videos.

“YouTube Shorts really feels like a natural part of YouTube’s evolution,” said YouTube Products Lead Todd Sherman. “But it’s early for us. We feel like we’re just getting started.”

Features of YouTube Shorts

Shorts is currently in beta, so its interface doesn’t yet offer as many features as TikTok’s. You won’t find as many sounds and effects, but you can record, chop up clips, and add some simple timers, text, and filters.

You also have YouTube’s entire library of billions of videos at your disposal to use in your Short – something that you can’t find on TikTok.

You may have already seen YouTube creators putting the hashtag #Shorts in the title of their videos – but you do not need to do this to have your clip included in the Shorts platform.

All you have to do is create a square or rectangle vertical video (aka good for smartphones) that’s 60 seconds or less (the same limit as TikTok).

Right now, subscribers to your YouTube channel will not get a notification you’ve uploaded a new Short the way they do for a regular video; the company wants to clearly separate Shorts from longer-form videos.

Can you make money off YouTube shorts?

Right now, there’s no way to monetize YouTube shorts (the way you can with regular YouTube videos). “We certainly plan to [monetize] Shorts but it’s going to take a fresh look at what it means to monetize shortform video,” says Sherman. “I think shortform video needs a different business model than longform YouTube.”

YouTube Shorts is clearly still in the early stages, but we’re excited to see the content that it will bring to the world!

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