YouTube has released its own beta version of TikTok’s short-form video format in the US. Called YouTube Shorts, the program is currently only available to a small group of US users. According to YouTube’s Official Blog, YouTube Shorts will be accessible by everyone in the coming weeks.
Through YouTube Shorts, users can make up to 60-second videos. Similar to TikTok, the tools included are “a multi-segment camera to string multiple video clips together, and the ability to record with music.”
YouTube Shorts revolve around music and will be heavily integrated with YouTube’s existing music programs. Snippets heard in YouTube Shorts can link users to the full song’s music video and the artist’s other info on YouTube. In the future, users can create Shorts from a music video and see other Shorts made from the same song.
YouTube has signed licensing agreements to use millions of songs from over 250 labels and publishers. Many of them are major music labels and companies, like Universal Music Group and Sony Music.
Instead of getting a standalone app, YouTube Shorts will be integrated into a row on YouTube’s homepage. YouTube will also test out a Shorts tab on mobile, making it possible to watch Shorts with a single tap.
The end goal is for YouTube Shorts users to clip audio and make Shorts out of any existing YouTube video, provided that the original creator hasn’t chosen to exclude their video from the service. YouTube Shorts in its current iteration will not allow ads or other monetization features, but the development team confirmed that they will explore monetization options in the future.
YouTube Shorts was initially launched in India in fall of 2020 and has enjoyed success. According to YouTube, the YouTube Shorts player has earned over 6.5 billion daily views globally.