YouTube Shorts has added another feature that has been available on TikTok for years. By giving its users the ability to record voiceovers for their short-form videos, the Google-owned video platform is looking to encourage native uploads rather than reposts.
The announcement of Shorts voiceovers came on a YouTube Help page that chronicles recent developments on the short-form hub. According to the post, voiceovers will let users “add another layer of creative expression” by imbuing their Shorts with a narrative overlay. That editing process will be possible after videos are recorded but before they are uploaded.
Voiceovers have been available on TikTok for years, and if you spent a lot of time on YouTube Shorts, you’ve undoubtedly watched clips that feature TikTok-style narration. Much of the content on YouTube’s micro-video platform is reposted from TikTok, and numerous short-form stars have found success on YouTube by porting over their preexisting TikToks.
Subscribe to get the latest creator news
If narrated videos are already common on Shorts, you may wonder why YouTube bothered to implement its own voiceover process. By adopting some of TikTok’s most useful tools, the online video leader is encouraging native uploads on Shorts, not reposts. Since YouTube is planning to run ads on Shorts, it is trying to assemble an arsenal of original content that will make its inventory more valuable — at least in theory.
The major players in the vertical video industry have utilized varied strategies to encourage original content. Instagram’s solution has been partially algorithmic ever since it adjusted its recommendations to favor clips that originated on Instagram. Snapchat, meanwhile, is working closely with creators to ensure its short-form hubs are stocked with exclusive content.
YouTube has added watermarks to videos that originate on Shorts, but its latest attempts to foster native uploads have come in the form of new features. In addition to voiceovers, YouTube Shorts recently rolled out another creation option lifted from TikTok: video replies.