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YouTube Takes On Troubled TikTok

YouTube has begun rolling out its new YouTube Shorts feature, positioned to compete with TikTok on short videos.

Initially testing in India, YouTube Shorts will allow users to film and upload videos of 15 seconds or less entirely from their smartphones. According to Chris Jaffe, VP of Product Management at YouTube, the platform builds on YouTube’s history of short videos, going back to the first ever 18-second video posted on the service, “Me at the zoo”.

“This is an early version of the product, but we’re releasing it now to bring you — our global community of users, creators and artists — on our journey with us as we build and improve Shorts. We’ll continue to add more features and expand to more countries in the coming months as we learn from you and listen to your feedback,” said Jaffe.

Tools being tested include a multi-segment camera for stringing together multiple clips; the option to record with music from a large song library; speed controls; and a timer and countdown for hands-free recording.

To enable users to watch short videos more easily, a new row for shorts has been added to the YouTube homepage, as well as the ability for viewers to swipe vertically from one video to the next.

“We encourage any mobile creator or artist to start uploading their existing short videos on YouTube today to start getting discovered.

“There’s much more to come, and over the next few weeks and months, we’ll continue to roll out more creation tools and easier ways to watch short videos on YouTube as we listen to your feedback,” said Jaffe.

Short-form video app TikTok, which would be YouTube Shorts’ biggest competitor, has been under pressure following an executive order by the Trump administration that would shut it down if Chinese owner ByteDance does not sell its US operations to an American buyer by September 20.

ByteDance yesterday announced a deal with Oracle, one of the President’s few major allies in the tech world, to sign Oracle on as a “trusted tech partner”.

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