News & Events, Tech

YouTube launches TikTok competitor, meet YouTube Shorts

The power struggle begins.

words by: Sahar Khraibani
Mar 25, 2021

It is undeniable that in the past year, TikTok has had tremendous success. This is why many social media platforms, such as Instagram, have tried to come up with alternative competitor features within their own apps (a great example of this is Instagram Reels). Now, YouTube has decided to create its own TikTok rival: YouTube Shorts, and the feature has just arrived in the U.S.


YouTube has described this feature as follows:

“YouTube Shorts is a way for anyone to connect with a new audience with just a smartphone and the Shorts camera in the YouTube app. YouTube’s Shorts creation tool makes it easy to create videos that are up to 15 seconds long with the option to capture multiple clips.”


This feature will allow users to record, edit, and share short-form video content that can be optionally set to popular music. For the launch, YouTube has made deals with Universal Music Group, Warner Chappell Music, Merlin, Empire, Sony Music Entertainment, and OneRPM among many others. The YouTube Shorts feature itself was initially introduced back in September and was in beta testing phases in India over the past several months.


Many users have commented that the experience of filming the content for the YouTube Shorts felt very much like TikTok. Users and creators have access to tools such as stopping and starting a recording with a tap, while also having access to many in-app editing features. And while this feature has a lot in common with TikTok, it does lack a more intelligent automatic sound-syncing feature that makes TikTok attractive and accessible to beginners.


I guess this may put YouTube back on the market in many ways, but one particular way is that the app may actually start being downloaded more. Most people don’t really have the YouTube app installed on their devices, the way they would have Instagram or TikTok. But with the YouTube Shorts feature, more and more downloads may ensue.