In a bid to fill the vacuum created in the short-video space after the Indian government banned TikTok, YouTube has followed Facebook to announce that YouTube Shorts feature will launch in India in the “next few days”. YouTube says the feature is in beta at the moment.
In a blog posted by the company on Monday (September 14), it said that the platform will allow users to post 15-second videos. The platform is adding a “create” on the YouTube app, emulating competitors like TikTok and others. The feature will come to iOS devices too, soon.
The create option allows users to record their short videos directly from the app and even string together multiple videos. YouTube already has tie-ups with music companies, so it can allow users to use music in their videos too, which is an integral part of any short-video platform. The platform claims that it gets over 2 billion viewers every month, to entice creators towards the feature. It will also create a Watch section for users who come to the platform only to consume content.
“As with any beta, we’ll be continuing to make updates based on your feedback over the coming weeks and months,” the company said in a forum post.
YouTube will be taking on existing platforms like Moj, which is run by homegrown social media platform Sharechat. There’s also Roposo, owned by digital advertising giant InMobi, content platform DailyHunt’s Josh, and upstarts like Chingari and Mitron. Unlike those platforms though, YouTube Shorts most resembles Instagram’s Reels, because both are just features in much larger platforms.
“Over the next few days in India, we’re launching an early beta of Shorts with a handful of new creative tools to test out. This is an early version of the product, but we’re releasing it now to bring you — our global community of users, creators and artists — on our journey with us as we build and improve Shorts. We’ll continue to add more features and expand to more countries in the coming months as we learn from you and listen to your feedback,” the company said in a blog post.
TikTok’s ban is likely to keep the short video sharing space exciting for quite a while, with Facebook-owned Instagram also launching similar features with its ‘Reels’ application. The time is ripe for these new applications to make an entry in the Indian market, while TikTok — which once enjoyed 120 Mn active monthly users in the country — remains embroiled in a tussle which has assumed nationalist overtones and is unlikely to get settled anytime soon.