YouTube is making its proper move into the short videos space. “We are building YouTube Shorts, a new short-form video experience right on YouTube for creators and artists who want to shoot short, catchy videos using nothing but their mobile phones,” announced its VP of product management Chris Jaffe yesterday.
An early beta of the new feature is launching in India “over the next few days” as a test. That’s a good country to pick for several reasons.
YouTube is hugely popular in India: it had more than 265 million monthly active users there at the end of 2019. Meanwhile, the reigning champ of short video apps, TikTok, remains banned in India, opening up a gap (both for regular users and for influencers) that startups and big social platforms alike are hoping to fill.
Jaffe’s blog post gives more details on how YouTube Shorts will work: multi-segment videos of up to 15 seconds; the option to record with music from “a large library of songs”; and a prominent slot for these videos within YouTube’s mobile app.