According to The Information, YouTube is reportedly working on ‘Shorts,’ which will have the same functions as TikTok in the existing YouTube app as opposed to being a stand-alone product. Rumour has it, Shorts will be a short-form, user-generated content feature that will allow users to post brief videos in a feed in the app. It also plans to take advantage of the licensed music that YouTube Music already has, which will be available to use as soundtracks for the videos created by users.
YouTube hasn’t yet officially commented on the claims. NBC reporter Dylan Byers shared part of the conversation he recently had with YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, where he outlines YouTube’s interest in this area.
TikTok was the most downloaded app of 2019 with more than 700 million downloads and has become a hit with Gen Z. TikTok has seen more than 125% growth in the last two years, according to App Annie. Having seen its success, YouTube clearly sees an opportunity to build on its two billion monthly active users and focus its efforts on a short-form video feature, which could in fact slow TikTok’s growth down if it came to fruition.
YouTube isn’t the first platform to try and rise to TikTok, with Facebook quietly launching Lasso, which is yet to take off. YouTube is aiming to release the feature at the end of this year.