It's hard to overstate just how popular TikTok is right now. Not only has it become the world's most popular app — beating out Facebook, of all companies — but its entire practice has been copied endlessly by the likes of Instagram and YouTube. Google is well aware of just how massive TikTok and Instagram have become, and it wants to make sure people are using its search capabilities to find and discover endless videos to show their friends.
Social apps are, unsurprisingly, the most downloaded apps across Android and iOS devices, and for the longest time, Facebook was the most popular among them. However, despite only being around since 2017, the Chinese short video app TikTok has just overtaken Zuckerberg's behemoth as the world's most downloaded app.
A casual observer might believe that YouTube is a site all about cats, or video game highlights, or anti-vaccine rants, or possibly just a repository of late night talk show bits. But no: the true purpose, as with almost all of Google's products, is to sell you stuff. To that end, YouTube is acquiring a smaller, weaker video site that's all about selling you stuff, albeit in a more direct way.
If you're a procrastinator, TikTok might be the most-used app on your phone. As an endless stream of videos algorithmically chosen just for you, it's easy to lose countless hours to scrolling. Of course, that only works if the app is actually working. A major outage affected TikTok users around the globe yesterday, but the service managed to come back online late last night.
Smartphone gimbals have progressed quite a bit over the years, first serving just as tools to keep the image steady, but eventually evolving more targeted features and designs. Zhiyun released the Smooth-Q2 in 2019, and its small size and sturdy design made it ideal for travel. Now the brand new Smooth-Q3 is out, but this time the design and features are directed toward vloggers and social networking.
While the executive order by Donald Trump to ban TikTok and WeChat never came into force, the Biden administration has revoked it in favor of evidence-based investigations of foreign-controlled applications that could pose a security risk to Americans and their data.
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.
Google wants you to know it's hip. It knows exactly what kids like these days: ASMR, bananas, and scrolling through videos on TikTok. Since they're already used two of those to advertise its current lineup of Pixel phones, it only makes sense to follow it up with the final entry in what has become a bizarre trilogy of commercials aimed at going viral. Google has partnered with creator Dayne N Simple to create a video poem in honor of its smartphones.
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.