YouTube is now trialing its TikTok competitor, YouTube Shorts, in India
Can YouTube take on TikTok?
According to YouTube’s official blog, YouTube has introduced “YouTube Shorts” in India. Think of the new service as YouTube’s answer to TikTok.
The beta version of YouTube Shorts will be available only to Indian users and will include a set of creation tools. The company added that they plan to introduce new features and expand to more territories shortly.
Initially, YouTube Shorts will be available only to Android devices, but an iOS version is in the works.
YouTube Shorts 101
Users will be able to create videos that will be up to 15 seconds long. Its list of key features and creation tools includes a multi-segment camera for joining together multiple clips, countdown & timer for hands-free recording, and speed control for added customization. Users will also get access to YouTube’s massive pool of songs, which should be a great addition for content creators.
At the same time, this will be very convenient for discovering new content creators.
Why now and why in India?
Before we cut to the chase, we need to mention that YouTube earlier this year announced that they had plans for such a feature. Their motivation was quite obvious; they wanted a piece of a market that wasn’t even there before TikTok. Plus, it seemed like one such feature that would nicely fit with their existing services.
Now, a few months later, they announced YouTube Shorts, their own “short-form video experience” as they like to describe it.
From the look of things, YouTube’s timing couldn’t be better, which is unfortunate for the declining TikTok. TikTok was recently banned in India, and the ban deadline is right around the corner, which could spell the end of their US operations. Other countries such as the UK are also looking into the app and its data handling.
So unless someone steps in and buys it from its Chinese owners, things will not get any better for TikTok. According to several unofficial reports, Microsoft is out of the race to buy TikTok. However, Oracle might be interested in buying. It’s all a mess, honestly.
The reason why YouTube chose India to launch its “YouTube Shorts” app is obvious – TikTok left a massive gap on the market when it was banned for its ties to China, and there is no one to fill it. At its peak, TikTok had 120 million users in India. Thanks to the ban, that number of users became zero, literary overnight.
YouTube could sense blood in the water and went for the kill. Even if TikTok somehow manages to be back in the good grace of the Indian government (which is very unlikely), it will have a giant competitor on its hands. After India, YouTube Shorts will most likely head to the US because of the same reason.
Like it or not, TikTok is looking at a serious competitor with access to an ocean of resources that includes billions of dollars to disrupt TikTok’s dominance.
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