Masterclassing Connect

YouTube expands its TikTok rival to the US

Tyrone Stewart


YouTube has begun rolling out short-form video experience – and TikTok rival – to the US, six months after debuting the product via an early beta in India.

In the India trial, Shorts – which gives creators the ability to shoot videos of 15 seconds or less – enabled creators to string multiple video clips together, record with music, control speed settings, and record hands-free.

Now, as the beta expands to the US, YouTube Shorts will enable creators to add text to specific points of their videos and sample audio from other Shorts. The latter will be extended further in the coming months when YouTube launches the ability to use audio from videos across its platform.

YouTube has already introduced a row to its homepage especially for Shorts and has launched a watch experience that enables viewers to swipe vertically between videos. It is also testing the addition of a ‘Shorts’ tab on mobile and exploring ways it can integrate Shorts into the wider YouTube experience through, for instance, making it easy to find a full song after hearing a snippet of it in a Short.

And, on that music front, creators will have access to the music catalogues of over 250 labels and publishers including Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, Believe, Merlin, 300 Entertainment, Kobalt, Beggars, CD Baby, Empire, Peer, Reservoir, OneRPM, and more.

The Shorts beta will gradually roll out to all YouTube users in the US over the next few weeks, but YouTube hasn’t given any indication as to when we can expect a wider rollout to more markets.