YouTube is reportedly working on a feature that will enable users to make TikTok-like short videos. This feature is currently a work in progress and is expected to launch by the end of 2020. It is reported to be called ‘Shorts’, and YouTube looks to combat TikTok competition with this feature. TikTok has amassed a huge following since inception a few years ago given its short video format and YouTube is looking to offer something similar for creators to dabble in.

The Information reports that YouTube is working on the ‘Shorts’ feature, and looks to released it as a part of the mobile app. This will reportedly be in the form of a special feed that will include a list of short video clips made by users. Google also has the advantage of a large catalogue of licensed music and songs that can be used by creators to make content. This isn’t the first the Google-owned app has aped features from rivals. YouTube also introduced Instagram-like Stories feed on YouTube, for creators to post photos and content in a systematic feed.

To recall, a variant of TikTok was launched in China in 2016 by ByteDance as A.me (later rebranded to Douyin) and it allows users to make short looping videos of three to 60 seconds in length. The app was made available worldwide in 2018 as TikTok after ByteDance purchased musical.ly and merged it with TikTok, and it has since become one of the most popular apps among teens.

It will be interesting to see how YouTube incorporates the new ‘Shorts’ feature inside its app, and how it will strike a balance between long form and short-form videos. It will have to strategise a way in which both are given equal weightage, and one form of video isn’t overshadowed by the other. There’s no word from YouTube regarding this new feature, and we expect them to only say something once the feature is ready to be launched.

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Tasneem Akolawala

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