To eliminate the threat of TikTok in the US, YouTube is planning to introduce a short-form video feature called Shorts which will be at its preliminary stage initially.
In a blog post, the company said that Shorts helps users create and upload 15-second videos which is the average length of a video on ByteDance Ltd.’s TikTok. In India, YouTube has been testing the feature since September and the videos are now being watched more than 3.5 billion times a day in the country.
The sudden upsurge in the growing numbers of TikTok users amid pandemic has pushed other companies on the edges and they are leaving no stone unturned to restrategise and come up with similar products. To name it, Facebook-owned Instagram launched reels and Snapchat introduced Spotlight and now YouTube has followed the same path and launched Reels.
Touted to be the largest video site, YouTube is the easiest tool for an amateur filmmaker, comedian or musician to make a good amount of money. However, with TikTok making its noise in the market, people have turned to popularize dance crazes and lip-synch video challenges with only their smartphones.
“We know there’s still a huge amount of people who find the bar for creation too high” on YouTube, Neal Mohan, chief product officer, wrote in the blog post.
Announcing the expansion of Shorts, Mohan said that it is part of a new series giving people a look behind the scenes at technology and product development at YouTube. He also offered a few additional stats and changes coming to YouTube in 2021.
YouTube also revealed that it is coming up with new tools for creators to make money from their fans, including an applause feature, akin to a digital tip jar, and a new commerce plan. YouTube‘s most of the money-making happens from advertising, further generating about $20 billion in 2020. But the company is also looking to diversify its business and reduce its reliance on ads, including selling memberships, asking fans for tips and selling T-shirts and other merchandise.
The company said its TV product, which gives users access to more than 85 traditional television channels online, now has more than 3 million paid subscribers. The service has been a way to diversify the company’s revenue beyond advertising dollars.