YouTube has announced its new TikTok rival, YouTube Shorts, which it will begin beta testing in India initially. The short-form video is experience is “for creators and artists who want to shoot short, catchy videos using nothing but their mobile phones.”
Similarly to TikTok, users will be able to upload 15-second or less short-form videos using a new set of creator tools, including a multi-segment camera, speed controls and a timer feature to record hands-free. Shorts also allow users to access a music library of songs and to record using music.
For the moment, YouTube is testing the new feature in India, where Chinese-owned TikTok is already banned. India was TikTok’s biggest foreign market, with an estimated 120 million users. Jaffe said they will add more features and expand to more countries in the coming months as they learn from users.
The news comes after US technology company Oracle confirmed it is now TikTok’s “trusted technology partner” in the US.
YouTube is encouraging mobile creators to start uploading their existing short videos on YouTube today to start getting discovered. If you have access to the Shorts camera, you can hit the +plus icon to get started, then choose “video.” For Android users in India, the “create” icon can be found at the bottom of the navigation bar for easier access. Those without the feature can tag their videos as #Shorts in the title or description. These will be tested on the new YouTube home page, along with other short vertical videos.