Will YouTube Shorts disrupt TikTok’s spurtive growth?

YouTube is the largest online video-sharing platform in the world, home to millions of brands and independent artists. It’s the perfect place to showcase your talents, promote your business, and reach out to viewers all across the world. The application/service is one of Google’s most successful ventures ever, but the tech giant is not resting on its laurels just yet.

Having already monopolized the video-sharing segment, Google is reportedly looking to explore another lucrative portion of the market, and it already has the tool for the job: YouTube Shorts.

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Inspired by TikTok’s soaring popularity — over 1 billion users across 150 countries — Google has reportedly decided to dip its toes in the world of short-video-sharing. The details are scarce, at this point, so remember to take it all with a bit of salt.

What is YouTube Shorts?

Similar to TikTok, YouTube Shorts — not official yet, BTW — would allow users to create short, music-filled, entertaining videos that can be easily viewed by millions of users worldwide. However, when it comes to track/audio selection, YouTube Shorts will reportedly have a significant advantage over TikTok, as it will let users pick from the full repertoire of music YouTube has already licensed.

As per claims, YouTube Shorts won’t be a standalone application and would reside inside the current YouTube app.

When is YouTube Shorts expected to release?

As mentioned earlier, only a couple of sources have confirmed the news so far. So, we must wait a little longer to get a concrete release date. However, if rumors are to be believed, we should be able to take YouTube Shorts for a spin by the end of 2020.

MSNBC’s senior media reporter, Dylan Byers, recently had a talk with YouTube chief, Susan Wojcicki. The podcast, which is scheduled to air later in April, should reveal a few more details.

Will it be able to challenge TikTok?

Gaining popularity without offering any standout features is indeed a challenging task, but YouTube’s extensive music collection, which would allow users to make even more personalized videos, can help the Google-owned company get a head-start.

TikTok is essentially a social networking platform, and Google, too, is expected to think along the same lines. There, too, YouTube Shorts could create an opening, thanks to Google’s expertise in creating user-friendly, near-perfect applications.


However, in the grand scheme of things, YouTube Short’s trump card may not even be any of its advertised features, but the trust people have on Google. Google is, by far, the most impactful company around us. From developing the most used operating system in the world — Android — to guiding us home every night with Google Maps and everything in between, it’s hard to imagine life without Google. So, when the same company releases a new product, people generally don’t give a second thought before installing it.

China-based TikTok, on the other hand, is having a hard time earning trust, especially in the United States. The country’s politicians have claimed that the app could pose a national security threat, which has already encouraged the US Army and Navy to ban the app. With such reputed government bodies against it and an investigation well underway, it would be interesting to see whether TikTok manages to ward off a challenge from USA’s beloved firm, Google.

Google’s wobbly track record

The US-based software giant has created many irreplaceable applications. From YouTube to Chrome, it covers almost every aspect of our online existence. However, there has been one, but significant sector, where Google has struggled to get a foothold. Despite taking multiple shots — Orkut and Google+ — at Facebook’s social-media monopoly, Google hasn’t had any luck.

A dynamic news feed, the option to like, comment, follow, and share; and, of course, the chance to create content for millions — TikTok, too, implements a Facebook-like architecture. The only difference here is that your content consumption is restricted to short videos.

Google, due to its unflattering track record, could be worried about the reception YouTube Short gets. However, thanks to Google’s trusted brand image, YouTube’s extensive music collection, and an enormous built-in audience, Shorts could be up and running in no time.

To top it off, YouTube already has a star-studded roster of creators — spread across genres — who could give the new initiative the spunk it needs to go up against the segment leader.

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A mediocre engineer hoping to do something extraordinary with his pen (well, keyboard). Loves Pink Floyd, lives football, and is always up for a cup of Americano.

1 Comment

  1. Meh, youtube keeps screwing up the user interface. Currently I cannot post, can’t get the subscriptions menu to appear, and clicking my account icon, just makes an empty box with a script circle spinning which eventually takes all browser resources. Way to go youtube, screwing everything up while we’re all stuck at home due to the virus.

    Everything is in beta, meaning everything is constantly breaking. Ugh!!

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