YouTube used to be the cool kid on the block, but then TikTok came along and everything changed. Now YouTube is looking to compete directly with the short-form user-generated content app by releasing its version called “Shorts.”
The shorts will allow people to upload short videos to a feed within the mobile app, just like TikTok, and take advantage of the licensed music YouTube Music has in its catalog, according to The Information. Those songs can be used within the videos. TikTok works by allowing people to choose from a selection of audio, music, and more, and create videos using those sounds. Dylan Byers of MSNBC added additional confirmation on Twitter shortly after the release of The Information report.
Take a look at any report on the state of mobile devices and it’s pretty obvious why YouTube wants some of the action. TikTok has grown more than 125 percent in the past two years, according to a January report from App Annie. The application has hundreds of millions of users and is a cultural force. The information noted that TikTok had approximately 842 million first-time downloads from Apple and Google app stores in the past 12 months, an increase of 15 percent year-over-year.
This is not the first time that YouTube has developed its version of a popular feature on another social platform. YouTube also brought their version of Instagram Stories to the site. Considering its huge user base (over 2 billion monthly active users) and deep music license agreements, creating a version of TikTok is not surprising. Facebook has also developed its version of TikTok, Lasso, which they have been quietly testing in markets like Brazil, according to The Information.