YouTube will now be launching YouTube Shorts – a short-form video service catering to YouTube’s roster of over 100 countries – after a successful soft launch in India last year. Following similar formats like TikTok and Instagram’s Reels, Shorts could be the next best thing, taking rank as a “new way to express yourself in 15 seconds or less“.
YouTube, the online video-sharing platform, initially launched Shorts in September 2020 in India, one of the fastest-growing markets for the video-streaming service. Eventually, they started rolling it out to twenty-six other countries including the US and the UK in May and June 2021 respectively.
When YouTube Shorts was officially launched last year, it featured fifteen-second videos, a structure similar to the popular short-form video platform – TikTok (Although TikTok did expand its maximum video length from fifteen seconds to a minute and then recently to three minutes).
Audio library limitations are seen across existing platforms. Shorts looks to overcome this by giving creators access to YouTube’s own audio library, a collection that has been growing immensely since early 2005. Videos on Shorts will be limited to 15 seconds, a format similar to TikTok; the former feature putting them at an advantage.
Only time will tell if this new feature could be a threat to TikTok, the short-form video-sharing app that rose to fame last year during lockdown – now brimming with videos from genres such as dance, entertainment, comedy, and education.
Accessing & Using Shorts
YouTube Shorts is located on the app’s homepage under ‘Shorts’, you will see it right next to the ‘Home’ section. When you click on the ‘Shorts’ section, it will show you a row of videos that include all of your favorite creators’ YouTube Shorts clips and will also recommend new content. As with TikTok, you can easily swipe up or down in order to move to the next or previous video.
Features & Functionality
YouTube’s famous ‘like’, ‘dislike’, ‘comment’ and ‘share’ options are available on Shorts as well. Moreover, users can quickly and seamlessly locate Shorts audios on YouTube, and vice versa. If you hear a song on Shorts and like it, you can quickly find the full version on YouTube!
Shorts is available on both iOS and android and the app allows creators to use its “multi-segment camera” to combine multiple video clips together into one, add text to specific points in their video, speed controls, as well as a timer and countdown to make capturing the right moment easier.
Its features include automatically added captions, to insert/attach clips from the phone’s gallery to the Shorts camera, as well as the ability to add basic filters and effects to color-correct the videos, with more coming in the future.
The YouTube Shorts Fund
YouTube Shorts is already proving to be a successful service. The platform has generated 6.5 billion daily views in March 2021 alone and this figure is only projected to get bigger with their plans to increase availability.
In May, this year, the world’s biggest video platform – YouTube, announced the YouTube Shorts Fund. This fund promises to distribute USD 100 million (INR 7,42,68,05,000.00) to creators of the most engaging short clips and is expected to kick off in the third or fourth quarter of 2021 continuing into 2022.
The app has not yet inserted ads or introduced other monetization options for YouTube Shorts and still calls the Shorts feature a “beta” feature. But they have confirmed they intend to do that by writing on their blog, “We are deeply committed to supporting the next generation of mobile creators with Shorts, and are actively working on what monetization options will look like in the future,” while announcing its global rollout.
“We know that it will take us time to get this right, and we’re just getting started. We can’t wait for you to try Shorts and help us build a first-class short-form video experience right on YouTube,” the team wrote.
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