YouTube has been testing “Shorts” for months in India. It is a short, vertical video format that can be edited with different filters and in which music plays a fundamental role … and that, indeed, are considerably reminiscent of TikTok. In fact, it is no coincidence that they have been being tested in the Asian country in the first place, since there TikTok is prohibited and they find no rival, being able to do with the local market easily.
YouTube hasn’t confirmed if creators will be able to earn money from Shorts as well.
However, as of today “Shorts” are now also available in the United States, which is practically its “coming out” worldwide. The functionality is still in beta phase, YouTube will be activating it to all users in the country in the coming weeks and, subsequently, it will focus on its development at an international level, so the arrival of the “Shorts” is expected to other countries approximately for the next summer.
While some improvements or new features may be added when they are officially released, the YouTube Shorts beta shows us a product very similar to any other TikTok clone. In the «Shorts», users can record different shots with the camera, from different angles, which are easily put together one after another. They can be edited and cropped without major problem.
Music can be added to those clips. YouTube makes an extensive catalog of songs available to users thanks to its agreements with more than 250 record labels. Also numerous editing tools, skins, filters … although, for the moment, it does not have as many different options as those of the social network of Chinese origin.
In the YouTube Shorts, which are not an independent app but are shown in the YouTube app itself, as a carousel in the main Home, there is also a feed in which the application’s algorithm shows other videos than the users might be interested. It’s like the TikTok «For you» tab, both for the content it offers and the way it displays it.
At the moment there is no -as in TikTok- the possibility of accessing a content feed only with Shorts published by accounts to which the user is subscribed, but it is possible that it will be launched later.
YouTube also recently pointed out that Shorts could even be created if you don’t have a YouTube channel, but at the moment this option, at least in the United States, is not available either, which does not mean that it will not be included soon before the official launch of the functionality.
Another of the main questions is to know if the videos in Shorts can be monetized like those shown in the user channels. Sure, YouTube shows advertising in this format when it is officially launched, but at the moment it has not been indicated how that income will be shared with the creators, if it will be done in any way.