TikTok, Reels get new rival, with YouTube Shorts set for launch

Reuters file

YouTube introduces Shorts to take on the likes of all other short video platforms available in the market.

This could create some competition for TikTok (and Oracle who just "partnered" with the platform), as well as Instagram's Reels. "This is an early version of the product, but we're releasing it now to bring you - our global community of users, creators and artists - on our journey with us as we build and improve Shorts", said Google in a post.

YouTube has announced it will test a beta version of its new TiktTok rival in India. According to YouTube, Shorts is a new short-form video experience for creators and artists who want to shoot short, catchy videos using nothing but their mobile phones. The service will reportedly feature hundreds of thousands of tracks to choose from, with more music expected to be added in the future. "As with any beta, we'll be continuing to make updates based on your feedback over the coming weeks and months", the company said in a forum post. Shorts has reportedly been in the works for a while, according to an April report from The Information, but Google did not confirm the new feature at the time. The feature is already being rolled out to the users in India on both Android and iOS platforms.

Called YouTube Shorts, the new service will be built into the YouTube app for smartphones. Users can quickly swipe from one video to the next, add music and text, adjust playback speed, quickly edit videos together, and the format features a timer for self-shot videos. The YouTube Short videos will appear on the home screen of YouTube. TikTok is popular among users in their teens and twenties, but authorities in the USA and India are moving to ban the app as they increasingly see it as a security threat. The company says it is testing a section on the YouTube homepage to highlight videos from the Shorts camera.

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