Earlier this month, podcaster Dylan Byers announced that he has something really big for all YouTube news followers and lovers out there. Few days before that, we got some information that the 2 people familiar with this matter stated that YouTube is working on a new feature called “Shorts”. There’s also word going around that YouTube plans on developing this feature for its mobile version of its app.
“Really, really short-form video, like 15 seconds… that is a place that is certainly interesting to look at” YouTube‘s Susan Wojcicki told me. “We will definitely continue to innovate in all the different format sizes, including really short-form video" https://t.co/IWoMHzB1bp https://t.co/tmSzN2zF6A
— Dylan Byers (@DylanByers) April 1, 2020
Competition for TikTok
This looks like a competition to the already famous TikTok app. For those who aren’t in the know, TikTok has millions of users that upload short videos daily. In these videos, users can use sounds and songs to make a short video of themselves. The app has recently enjoyed its position as one of the top downloaded apps on Google Play or the App Store. Just this January, it was downloaded over 100 million times.
Byers has not released the podcast episode yet, but this was also revealed only a few days after we heard statements about the app. The “Shorts” app should be available by the end of this year.
This can be a serious blow to TikTok which is one of the rare, successful Chinese-owned apps. Music is one of the biggest influencing factors for a lot of TikTok viral videos right now, so this can be vital for YouTube to get an advantage.
YouTube can also use this momentum of people staying at home because of the worldwide corona problem. It will have a huge advantage if they put this feature out as soon as possible.
— Alex Heath (@alexeheath) April 1, 2020
Right now, YouTube has over two billion active users. It already has a strong background and won’t start anew as TikTok did. If all of the biggest content creators jump into this new app, they can start new viral videos or trends that can get a lot of attention.
Google was always pushing to innovate. They did it when they almost mirrored the Instagram Stories feature with their own YouTube Stories. So this new “Shorts” feature is not that big of a surprise but is more than welcome for this short video market lacking good competition apps.