The product is set for a testing period in India before it is then released in other countries. Shorts will allow a user to express in 15 seconds or less.
In a blog post, YouTube revealed how to watch Shorts thus, “You may have recently seen a row on the YouTube homepage especially for short videos, and starting today we’re also introducing a new watch experience that lets you easily swipe vertically from one video to the next, plus discover other similar short videos. We’re also going to make it even easier to start watching Shorts.”
Shorts comes on the heels of Instagram Reels and in Facebook‘s bid to catch up with Triller and the embattled TikTok. Facebook is also banking on its already existent brand equity to grab a share of the short video format market.
During the lockdown and with the rising popularity of TikTok that saw over two billion app downloads in just two years, forecasts predicted that TikTok was about to replace the ad muscle of YouTube. The idea was because TikTok was more engaging to younger audiences and it had tools that appeal to their sentiment and creativity.
While TikTok has since been embattled in a politically-charged ban by the Trump administration, YouTube has replied with a more Gen Z friendly video format called Shorts. This could also be seen as a direct response to Instagram Reels and Microsoft‘s bid to buy TikTok‘s American operations – even though TikTok has stated that it will not be selling its algorithms to any buyer.
In an episode of VergeCast with Nilay Patel and Dieter Bohn, New York Times reporter Taylor Lorenz stated that Reels was a poor man’s version of TikTok because of a lack of the appropriate tools.
This is not exactly about matching the competition, it’s about winning a share of the Gen Z market.