With the increasing popularity of Shorts on YouTube, the platform is taking a more significant stride in directly competing with TikTok. This comes through the incorporation of a variety of novel features for Shorts, aligning the two platforms more closely.
To begin with, YouTube is introducing a new 'Collab' feature, allowing users to create Shorts in a side-by-side format alongside other YouTube or Shorts videos.
This format closely mirrors TikTok's 'Duet' functionality, which has become a favoured choice for creators to engage with other users' posts.
Up until now, YouTube had only offered audio remix options for Shorts. However, as it seeks to further embrace the short-form content trend, it's integrating more TikTok tools to challenge the TikTok app.
"Creators can choose from several layout options to effortlessly participate in a split-screen format. Simply select 'Remix,' then 'Collab' to remix an eligible Short or YouTube video."
Furthermore, YouTube is also releasing a new Q&A sticker, empowering creators to prompt direct responses from viewers within the Shorts stream.
This will also feel recognisable, given that both TikTok and Instagram offer similar features. Oh, and don't forget, live-streaming in a vertical display format:
Indeed, YouTube isn't hiding its admiration for TikTok. The new vertical live stream offering on YouTube mirrors the appearance and atmosphere of TikTok's live content. This live stream will similarly be showcased within the Shorts stream.
"Viewers testing this new functionality will encounter previews of vertical live videos seamlessly integrated into the Shorts feed. Once engaged, they'll be led into a scrollable feed of other live videos."
YouTube is also simplifying the creation of Shorts by introducing new shortcuts. These will guide viewers to the camera composer with the audio and/or effects from the Short they were watching, allowing them to use it as a template.
As described by YouTube:
"From the Shorts player, tap the Remix button and select ‘use sound’.
We’ll automatically surface the same audio time stamp from the Short you just watched, and the same effect as a creation suggestion. You can always mix and match to make it your own, too!"
This process is quite similar to what can be done on IG and TikTok, and could be particularly useful for tapping into trends or responding to clips within the stream.
YouTube has also recently enabled the saving of Shorts to playlists directly on the platform, making it more convenient to keep track of Shorts content you wish to revisit. Additionally, it's currently testing new 'recomposition tools,' which will enable the transformation of horizontal videos into Shorts clips.
In essence, YouTube is incorporating many features reminiscent of TikTok. Considering the popularity of short-form video, this is likely a positive development. The advantage for creators, at least on YouTube, lies in the ability to establish a presence on Shorts and subsequently transition to building a following with longer-form content on the platform. This longer content can be more effectively monetised, potentially leading to greater revenue success.
Earning money from short-form content can be challenging, which is why TikTok is keen to incorporate other elements like in-stream shopping to help supplement creators' incomes."
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