YouTube’s TikTok rival Shorts has officially launched in the US

Image Credit: YouTube

Users across the US will be able to make short videos set to music as the YouTube Shorts Beta rolls out.

Yesterday, YouTube announced the rollout of YouTube Shorts Beta to the US. The feature is basically the video streaming giant’s answer to TikTok. Shorts’ aim is to make it simple for users to record, edit and share videos up to 60 seconds long, which can be set to music.

The new feature was initially announced in September 2020. After a beta of Shorts was released in India there are now 6.5 billion views of the YouTube Shorts player daily across the globe. YouTube says the number of channels using YouTube creation tools in the region tripled since December. Time, therefore, to release the beta gradually across the US to further test the waters.

It’s still a work in progress. The library of music that Shorts creators can choose from will continue to expand as the months go on. YouTube already has deals with the big three record labels – Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group – along with over 250 other music companies, with the list of partners set to grow.

Users can quickly find a song which has intrigued them on a Short via YouTube, and soon users will be able to easily create their own Short using whatever music they fancy, by tapping the create button straight from a YouTube music video.

The Indian beta had tools allowing recording with music and different speed settings, and the option to string multiple video clips together.

Shorts will also now introduce more features. Users can now also add text throughout their clips, and sample audio from other Shorts to remix into their own videos.

Over the next few months Shorts will let users use audio from opted-in YouTube videos, whether that’s for re-enactments, reaction videos or recipe attempts. YouTube also said they’re looking at future monetization options for Shorts creators.

It’s always fascinating to watch the big tech companies chase each other, hoping to poach users with new tools known to be popular on their competitor’s platforms.

Instagram Reels is another example of a TikTok rival, and some sort of Stories feature is now a given across social media apps. Twitter meanwhile has been nervously eyeing the rise of cult audio chat app Clubhouse, and is fast-tracking its similar Spaces feature in response.

The changes platforms make to existing formulas are also exciting to see. It will be interesting to watch how enthusiastically the rollout of YouTube Shorts is embraced by users in the US.

I write about music for RouteNote, sharing fun stuff, news, and tips and tricks for musicians and producers. Also a saxophonist and hater of marmalade.

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