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YouTube is working on a TikTok competitor called Shorts – launching by end of year

Great, everyone’s just copying each other’s homework again.

youtube and tiktok logos on phone
Image: KnowTechie

In the hyper-connected world, I guess you could say that you’ve finally made it when your competition decides to start copying your app. At one point, everyone seemed to be copying Snapchat, but now it seems everyone is trying to emulate TikTok’s runaway success, even YouTube. Yes, YouTube is working on its own short-form app that’ll be called Shorts.

According to The Information, the app will have one killer feature that might give it a boost in the ultra-competitive market – access to licensed music from YouTube Music’s catalog. That means the ability to use copyrighted music without fear of the dreaded DMCA strike. At least, that’s the theory. YouTube has been known to be heavy-handed with Content ID, even under fair use conditions, so we’ll see if that relaxes at all when Shorts arrives.

As it stands, Shorts will be part of the main YouTube app, which seems strange to me. I mean, the whole point of remix apps like TikTok is being able to easily scroll through near-infinite inspiration. With Shorts, it might just end up being a short-lived feature before creators go back to making longer YouTube pieces.

It’s a crowded market already, with Triller and Dubsmash being direct competitors, Facebook working on Lasso, and Instagram testing its own spin, Reels, in Brazil currently. Does YouTube have enough clout with the creative kids that create these remixed memes to gain viewership, or will its short-form aspirations get left in the dust? I guess we’ll find out.

What do you think? Interested in this TikTok-like feature from YouTube? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience at KnowTechie, SlashGear and XDA Developers. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere, with particular focus in gadgetry and handheld gaming. Shoot him an email at

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