Shorts, YouTube’s TikTok clone, is arriving in the states next month after a six-month beta run in India (where TikTok is permanently banned).
Word of the product first emerged last April, and YouTube’s proprietary Shorts creation tool arrived in India the following September. That said, any users globally who publish 60-second-or-under vertical videos with the #Shorts hashtag in the title or description box have the chance to have their clips distributed as Shorts on a dedicated homepage shelf. (Shorts videos recorded with YouTube’s official tools — featuring editing effects and music culled from the YouTube Music library — can be 15 seconds max).
YouTube says that, since December, the number of Indian channels using its Shorts creation tools have more than tripled, while the Shorts player is now receiving 3.5 billion daily views. That said, ads don’t yet run in Shorts, nor do they generate YouTube Premium subscription revenues.
YouTube made the announcement of the product’s stateside launch via the inaugural installment of a new, behind-the-scenes technology and product development blog series from chief product officer Neal Mohan, which also featured other announcements today about monetization and more. Mohan’s series will also comprise firsthand contributions from YouTube engineers, product managers, and designers.
“We know there’s still a huge amount of people who find the bar for [traditional YouTube video] creation too high,” Mohan writes. “That’s why we’re working on Shorts, our new short-form video tool that lets creators and artists shoot snappy videos with nothing but their mobile phones.”
The news of Shorts’ U.S. expansion arrives after YouTube unveiled this month its Shorts Report — a bi-weekly creator resource comprising product news and best practices to help creators approach the burgeoning format successfully. The company also began sharing Shorts tips in its Creator Insider series in October, whereupon it also introduced a brand new icon — the YouTube play button atop a red squiggle of sorts — to designate the Shorts shelf at the top of the YouTube app homepage.