What Is YouTube Shorts? A Beta Version Of The TikTok Rival Is Launching So Soon

YouTube is getting ready to bring a beta version of its TikTok rival — YouTube Shorts — to the United States. Following YouTube's announcement on Wednesday, Feb. 17, you might be wondering: What is YouTube Shorts? Here's what to know about the short-form video platform, which will be rolling out in early March.

In just a few weeks, YouTube will be launching a beta version of the tool that allows users to record, edit, and share clips that are 15 seconds in length solely on the YouTube app from their mobile devices. According to the company, beta Shorts will be available to all U.S. users when it launches. Like TikTok, the beta version of Shorts will include the ability for users to string multiple clips together up to 60 seconds, add segments of music to videos, as well as to explore other Shorts and subscribe to different users. Speed control, timer, and countdown features allow you to customize your filming and editing process. YouTube also plans to roll out additional "creation features in the coming months," but did not share what those will be.

ICYMI, YouTube first revealed in September 2020 that it would be following in the steps of social media platforms Instagram and Triller by launching its own TikTok alternative. The beta version was initially tested in India, and according to a Feb. 17 YouTube blog post by Neal Mohan, chief production officer of YouTube, it quickly exploded in popularity. He said that not only is the YouTube Shorts player getting more than 3.5 billion views daily, but the number of Indian creators using the feature has more than tripled since the beginning of December 2020.

YouTube

While Mohan told Fast Company in a Feb. 17 interview that he sees YouTube Shorts going head to head with TikTok when it's released, it does have one fundamental difference. Similar to Instagram's Reels, Shorts will be housed in the existing YouTube app. When it launches, you'll be able to find it by tapping on the Create button.

"I view this as another tool in [a creator’s] toolbox, if you will," he told the publication. "Another prop on the stage to engage with their audience, build their audience, and because their core audience is already on YouTube."

Elite Daily reached out to Google for exactly when beta Shorts will launch, but the company didn't confirm exactly what date U.S. users can expect to see Shorts pop up on YouTube or if there are immediate plans for expansion to other countries. Keep your eyes peeled on the YouTube app, though, because short-form video fans will have another option to try out sometime in the coming weeks.