Skip To Content

    YouTube Is Launching Their Own TikTok Competitor, And I Guess I'll Never Put My Phone Down Again

    Everything you need to know about Shorts.

    By now, it’s nearly impossible to escape clips from TikTok. If you haven’t downloaded the app yourself, you’ve more than likely seen viral videos floating around Twitter and Instagram timelines.

    TikTok / Via tiktok.com, TikTok: @milkteamali / Via vm.tiktok.com

    Speaking of which, Instagram even adopted the quick-and-catchy video formula in August when they created their own TikTok-esque function, dubbed Reels.

    Now, YouTube is joining the ménage à trois with their own short-form video competitor, Shorts.

    Giphy: reddit.com / Via giphy.com

    What Are Shorts?

    With a 15-second cap, YouTube’s Shorts allow creators to capture and distribute dances, moments, vlogs, and other scenes of creativity.

    A still from the YouTube video "Charlie Bit My Finger"
    YouTube: @HDCYT / Via youtube.com

    In their announcement, YouTube pointed out that they are not new to short-form videos and highlighted mega-viral clips like “Charlie Bit My Finger,” “Good Morning Y’all,” as well as the first video ever posted to YouTube, “Me at the Zoo.”

    “We are building YouTube Shorts, a new short-form video experience right on YouTube for creators and artists who want to shoot short, catchy videos using nothing but their mobile phones,” VP of Product Management Chris Jaffe wrote in a YouTube blog post.

    A beta of Shorts is currently only available in India, and the company expects to test and expand features on the version before wider release.

    Giphy: @alexandwhite / Via giphy.com

    So, How Do They Work?

    Similar to TikTok, creators can shoot a single video or string together multiple segmented clips. They’ll also be able to add music, control the capturing speed, and utilize a handy timer and countdown feature to record hands-free.

    YouTube Official Blog / Via blog.youtube

    For creators who live outside of India, you are still able to participate by uploading clips to YouTube that are shorter than 60 seconds and including the hashtag #Shorts in the description.

    For those who just want to watch, you’ll be able to vertically swipe through videos and discover more with similar content.

    Giphy: @kimsconvenience / Via giphy.com

    Will the Videos Be Monetizable?

    The opportunity for viewership on Shorts appears to be massive: “So far, videos in our new Shorts player — which helps people around the world watch short videos on YouTube — are receiving an impressive 3.5 billion daily views,” CEO Susan Wojcicki wrote in a YouTube blog post.

    So YouTube is slowly rolling out #Shorts - lots of opportunity for artists who don’t want to do the whole ‘talk to camera’ thing. This 0:44 long behind-the-scenes did 1M views in a week, bringing in lots of subscribers who are interested in my courses, resources, etc.

    Twitter: @kevinbparry

    However, there are currently no ads in the Shorts section of the app, and no ads means no $$$.

    As Shorts grows and expands to different countries, this is subject to change.

    Will We Be Trying It?

    You’re damn right!

    Giphy: @wetv / Via giphy.com

    Are you interested in Shorts? Let us know why or why not in the comments.

    BuzzFeed Daily

    Keep up with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!

    Newsletter signup form