What you need to know
- YouTube Shorts is going global.
- The service, a rival to TikTok, is rolling out in more than 100 countries.
- It was debuted in India and then expanded to 26 countries, including the US and UK previously.
YouTube has announced that its YouTube Shorts platform, meant to rival TikTok, is rolling out to more than 100 countries worldwide.
Announced last year, Shorts is YouTube's answer to short-form video, built on the success of apps like TikTok and featuring videos more easily viewed on devices like the iPhone 12. The service has been in beta in 26 countries for a while, and on Monday the company announced it was rolling out the service to more than 100 countries:
Last year, we announced that we are building YouTube Shorts, a short-form video experience for anyone who wants to create short, catchy videos using nothing but their mobile phones. Since then, we've expanded our beta to 26 more countries and have already seen many creative, awesome Shorts from our community. We're excited to share today that YouTube Shorts is going global. We're now rolling out our beta across more than 100 countries around the world where YouTube is available, including in countries in Sub Saharan Africa.
Google says it is also planning to add more features, including adding Shorts' creation tools within Google, including a multi-segment camera for stringing video clips together, recording with music, speed settings, and more. Users will also be able to sample audio from YouTube videos for creating videos like reaction posts and memes. Other new features including adding text, sample audio from other shorts, video recording of up to 60 seconds, adding clips from your phone's gallery, and basic color correction filters.
Speaking to iMore, social media industry commentator and consultant Matt Navarra said that the global rollout of Shorts "will hopefully start to reveal which platform is likely to dominate short-form video in the next couple of years."
"TikTok is by far the platform of choice for creators in this space, and it has built up a huge amount of equity in its brand over the past year," Navarra said. "Instagram, much like YouTube, is playing catchup with Reels but doesn't seem to have challenged TikTok's dominance as much as maybe it hoped it would have by now."
Navarra, noting some of the aforementioned changes, stated that YouTube's biggest asset is its existing deep library of content and that YouTube Shorts "has the scale and might of Google to disrupt TikTok's party."
Shorts is also getting "millions" of songs from over 250 labels and publishers including Universal Music Group, Sony, Warner, and more.
Google is also adding changes to make watching Shorts more enjoyable and intuitive, as well as a support fund for mobile creators. You can read the full announcement here.