YouTube to roll out short-form video service in US to take on TikTok

Shorts currently records more than 6.5 billion daily views globally


Reuters March 19, 2021

Alphabet’s YouTube is rolling out a short-form video-streaming service on its platform in the United States as it looks to better compete with rival TikTok in the hugely popular category.

The service, Shorts, lets users record mobile-friendly vertical videos that can be spiced up with special effects and soundtracks pulled from a music library.

“Starting today and over the next several weeks, we’ll gradually expand our Shorts beta to the US,” YouTube said in a blog post on Thursday, adding it would weave in newer features on the service like the ability to add text at specific points of the video.

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YouTube had rolled out the feature in India in September last year after TikTok was banned in one of its biggest markets. Shorts currently records more than 6.5 billion daily views globally, YouTube said.

Facebook is also testing a feature on Instagram that allows some content creators in India to share short video clips, known as reels, on their Facebook accounts.

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In the test, some Indian users who create the 30-second long reels on Instagram will have the option of having them recommended on Facebook.

The success of TikTok has prompted many social media companies to add short-video services to their platforms, with Snap Inc’s Snapchat rolling out ‘Spotlight’ last November.

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