YouTube launched its TikTok competitor YouTube Shorts in India in 2020, before expanding to around 26 countries including the U.S. and the U.K. The company’s short-video creator tool will be available across more than 100 countries around the globe where YouTube is available.
YouTube is working hard to develop its short-video creator tool. It wants many people to use its new Shorts feature. For example, hundreds of millions of people use YouTube on a daily basis. The company is playing catchup with TikTok as the short-form video platform of choice.
But the company owned by Google is pushing Shorts’ integration with the wider YouTube ecosystem as the main selling point. The company recently added the ability for Shorts creators to sample audio from YouTube videos. The company is also exploring ways to offer quick links from Shorts to YouTube videos they took samples from.
YouTube and TikTok
Ironically, while YouTube is going to great lengths to emulate its competitor’s format, TikTok is experimenting with formats that are closer to YouTube’s traditional focus. Furthermore, it is also slowly rolling out apps on platforms like Android TV and Fire TV.
TikTok decided to triple its maximum video length to three minutes for everyone. The extension is meant to give users more flexibility while filming as well as to limit the need for multi-part posts. TikTok started to test three-minute videos in December. In the past, the maximum length of videos was one minute.
TikTok did not say how three-minute clips might affect its much-loved recommendation algorithm. But it makes sense to consider the possible parallels with YouTube. As the platform grew, the company biased its algorithm toward viewer retention, which meant longer and longer videos. TikTok may not follow in YouTube’s footsteps, but it turns out that longer videos equal longer TikTok usage, so people might see less of the app’s short, snappy, as well as strange clips.