While YouTube's basic formula hasn't changed since its inception, the platform has always been open for novelties when it comes to peripheral features and formats — case in point, experiments like YouTube Stories and new sharing options for video viewers. The latest format Google is bringing to the video platform is inspired by TikTok and is called YouTube Shorts. After an extensive testing period, Google announced that it's going live for all US creators this week but users around the world are starting to see the new YouTube layout.
Short-form content isn't new, but few platforms have made a splash bigger than TikTok. Wanting to capitalize on this growing trend, competitors have cropped up in numbers, and existing platforms like Instagram are scrambling to adapt. After experimenting with Shorts (60-second vertical videos) in India, YouTube is now making the feature available to users in the US.
If TikTok's explosive growth has proven one thing, it's that short-form videos are not something that social platforms can afford to pass on — they're catchy, they help improve app retention rates, and they're attracting more ad dollars than ever before. Google has certainly realized this, and it's making sure that YouTube adapts to changing times. In its latest attempt to make it easier to produce short videos, the video platform is experimenting with a prominent Create button.
I think it's safe to say that short-form video content reached the pinnacle of popularity this year. Seeing TikTok's wild success, competing platforms such as YouTube and Instagram were quick to jump on the bandwagon with Shorts and Reels, respectively. It seems like even Google doesn't want to miss out on getting a piece of the pie as the search giant is expanding its carousel of short videos in mobile search results to include content from more sources.
Bite-sized videos have become increasingly popular over the last couple of years and the popularity of TikTok has only seemed to convince more platforms to jump on the bandwagon. The latest platform to make such a move is Reddit, which has acquired short-form video platform Dubsmash for an undisclosed amount.
With TikTok facing bans left and right, competitors like Instagram have scrambled to introduce clones such as Reels to audiences. Now, Instagram's parent company Facebook is looking for its chance to capitalize within its own app as well with a new Short Videos section it is presenting to Indian users at the top of their News Feeds.