In middle of September this year, YouTube unveiled its plan to introduce a new feature on its mobile app, YouTube Shorts. What is YouTube Shorts and could it be TikTok new rival? Let’s try to see clearer about what this new app is about!

What is YouTube Shorts?

YouTube Shorts is a new feature that will be available on the mobile app of the video sharing platform. People will be able to use it to record short videos of 15 seconds or less. The feature includes a multi-segment camera, creative features, speed controls, timer and countdown and the possibility to add music. A dedicated page will be there for user to scroll and swipe among Shorts videos. For now, a beta version of the app is available in India only, but YouTube plans to release it to other countries soon. However, other countries can already tag their video with the #shorts to appear in the Shorts section on the YouTube homepage.

As you read this description of YouTube’s new feature, you’re probably thinking that it sounds pretty similar to TikTok. And it’s true that it has the same principle basically. Even visually, the app reminds you of TikTok, as you can see.

Why it could overshadow TikTok?

In recent years, TikTok established itself as the undisputed leader in the field of short-video sharing platforms. But more recently, its dominance has been quite shaken. As the United States issued the possibility of a ban of the Chinese-owned app from the American soil, other competitors gained traction such as the freshly developed Instagram Reels.

In that context of sharp competition between social networks, it’s interesting to see that YouTube decided to test its new feature in India, where TikTok is banned since June 29. And YouTube might as well overshadow TikTok in the long run, who knows? Even though YouTube has fallen behind TikTok on that race, you must remember that YouTube has many more monthly active users than TikTok, with around 2 billion each month. YouTube appears as a real competitor and a direct threat to TikTok.

What does it imply for music?

But what are the consequences regarding the use of music? As we’ve already seen, using music on YouTube is subjected to several pretty strict rules. Thus, how will YouTube Shorts compete with TikTok whose policy in terms of music is much less restrictive? That’s the big question. According to YouTube, users can pick a selection of songs that are free to use. And YouTube is allegedly in discussion with major music players to add more songs on the app.

The arrival of YouTube in this landscape therefore changes the game. First for its competitors and the world of social networks, but also for YouTube itself. Perhaps this new feature will change YouTube’s policy regarding the use of music on its platform. You have to keep in mind that the creation of YouTube Shorts also has an economic purpose, and that nothing is certain regarding the evolution of copyright rules, monetizing requirements and so on.

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