Owns YouTube TikTok

Short video feature shorts: is YouTube now competing with TikTok?

TikTok already has 800 million monthly active users. That is significantly less than on YouTube, which now has 1.8 billion monthly active users. However, the short video app TikTok is much younger - and has been in trend for a good year and a half. The mixture of short videos, user-generated content and a contemporary app environment, which now also offers brands advertising options, appeals to a broad mass. While the Vine app may have appeared too early for the trend years ago and was crushed, its successor, Byte, celebrated its first successes this year. YouTube could also jump on this train. The Information reports on a specially developed feature in the YouTube app, Shorts, which could copy the basic idea of ​​TikTok.

YouTube wants to cement its dominance in the video market

As a large video platform, YouTube faces little competition, the Google brand has been so well established with users for over a decade. Whether music, gaming, how-tos, films and series, comedy and the like: viewers can find (almost) everything on YouTube. In addition, the video portal functions as a relevant search engine for a large number of users. Facebook Watch or IGTV have fewer viewers; although Facebook reported in 2019 that 720 million people spend at least a minute on Watch each month.

In the app market, however, and especially in the area of ​​short videos, TikTok has been particularly popular since its relaunch in summer 2018 - as the designated successor to Musical.ly. ByteDance's app, whose Chinese counterpart is called Douyin, cracked 1.5 billion downloads in November 2019, according to the data analysis platform SensorTower.

At the time, TikTok was being downloaded more often than Instagram or Facebook. TechCrunch also reported that, according to an analysis by App Annie, time spent on TikTok increased 210 percent in 2019 compared to 2018 - to 68 billion hours. Reason enough for YouTube to keep an eye on this development.

Now the investigative tech publisher The Information reports on plans for a YouTube feature called Shorts. This is to be integrated into the YouTube app using TikTok's recipe for success.

Shorts: is the option already being planned?

With shorts, YouTube could try to combat the threat the platform may see in TikTok's growth. According to the information from The Information, shorts would allow users to upload specially created short videos within the YouTube app, similar to TikTok. As with the app from China, it should also be possible to add music to these. YouTube would offer the advantage that users could choose various pieces from YouTube's licensed music catalog. If this option comes, YouTube could possibly convince some users to use their own app in a short video context. But copying the UX of the popular TikTok so easily should be a tedious undertaking; However, YouTube has the financial means for this.

The Information names two people who are familiar with the development as the source for the information; Whether this indicates that a short video section will actually be integrated into YouTube in the future remains at least doubtful for the time being. However, podcast host and NBC and MSNBC reporter Dylan Byers said on Twitter that he talked to YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki about TikTok on the podcast and that the news from The Information could soon be confirmed.