YouTube has launched its own version of TikTok, YouTube Shorts, in the US and India, and the beta version is available in the UK. YouTube Shorts feature the basics of any TikTok clone including a multi-segment camera, wide selection of music tracks and a robust captioning tool.
As with TikTok, YouTube Short users can swipe through an algorithmically generated feed of Shorts, subscribe to their favourite creators, explore hashtags and sounds and remix other audio tracks, all in a user interface that’s similar to TikTok. However, instead of having a dedicated page, Shorts will be available through a swipeable carousel within the YouTube home page in the app.
YouTube Shorts meets a lot of the basic requirements for a short-form video platform, but it is missing the collaborative features that make TikTok such a hit. This means users—currently—can’t reply with videos or duet or stitch videos. In addition to this, there is no way to only view videos from Short accounts you’ve subscribed to.
While Shorts is a necessary move in order to stay popular within the video-content sphere, YouTube is late to the party. TikTok, Reels (Instagram) and Spotlight (Snapchat) have already established, or begun establishing, themselves as go-to short-form entertainment mediums. YouTube will have to work hard to catch up with and replicate TikTok’s enticing and engaging blend of collaborative tools, viral trends and personalized algorithm.
Shorts were developed to offer creators a chance to break the mold of long videos that the platform is known for. YouTube has become a hyper-competitive landscape of creators; Shorts offers new creators the chance to make a name for themselves. However, the subscriber count between channel and Shorts will be shared.
How YouTube is encouraging Creators to use Shorts
To entice creators into creating their own YouTube Shorts, YouTube is introducing the $100 million YouTube Shorts Fund to reward creators.
The YouTube Shorts Fund is a new method YouTube is using to help creators monetize their Shorts content. The Fund will be distributed across 2021 and 2022 to anyone who creates unique Shorts content. It is available to everyone, not just YouTube Partner Program creators.
The Shorts content created will have to adhere to YouTube’s Community Guidelines, but the platform will reach out to the creators with the most engagement and views, and reward them for their content. These creators will then have the ability to share their feedback to YouTube and help improve the Shorts experience.
YouTube has said that monetizing Shorts is a top priority for the platform, and something they are keen to get right quickly. This is unsurprising considering the creator-backlash TikTok receives for its Creator Fund. In addition to this, The YouTube Shorts Fund will be competing with Reel’s new bonus scheme and Spotlight’s $1million a day fund.
The platform has also said it will expand Shorts to more locations within its platform and will, eventually, experiment with Shorts ads and see how well they perform on the new medium.