YouTube Shorts: Will it be Able to Capture TikTok’s Audience?
- TikTok is incredibly popular for lip-syncing and dancing videos.
- TikTok had nearly 1.7 billion downloads as of February 2020.
- Many have tried to imitate Tik Tok’s features but none could reproduce the success.
- YouTube is reportedly soon launching a short video sharing feature ‘Shorts’ which aims to rival TikTok but not as a standalone product.
YouTube was always the cool kid on the block with little real competition since inception. There are plenty of other video platforms like Dailymotion, Vimeo, and Veoh that aren’t a threat to YouTube until TikTok came in. TikTok is a wildly popular app with over a billion downloads with Gen Z and recently witnessed a surge in its popularity during coronavirus quarantines especially with kids and young adults who are bored at home.
Can YouTube overtake TikTok Audience and Popularity?
YouTube, a Google-owned company has been the most widely used video-sharing platform in the world for 15 years with 2 billion monthly users. Even though 81% of 15-25 years old using YouTube, it doesn’t have the short-form content. Therefore, it is eager to capture the younger audience segment who are crazy about short-form videos around music that makes Tik Tok a hit. As a result, YouTube is reportedly working on a new feature ‘Shorts’ that it hopes will make a dent on the surging popularity of Tik Tok and keep more people on the platform.
The website The Information reported that YT is working on its own short video feature ‘Shorts’ similar to TikTok operation within the YouTube app. According to the site:
“Shorts will include a feed of brief videos posted by users inside the Google-owned app and will take advantage of the video service’s catalog of licensed music, songs from which will be available to use as soundtracks for the videos created by users.”
MSNBC’s Dylan Byers additionally confirmed on Twitter shortly after The Information’s report was live.
YouTube’s new features can have advantages over TikTok. For instance, it has extensive music licensing agreement in place which implies that there would be an array of music options to choose from short clips. It has a larger audience base, so influencers will find an advantage to stay over the platform as they would get access to reach more potential viewers. And lastly, YouTube has better monetization policies and systems in place which is a huge advantage for the influencers.
If the service is easily monetized by the content creators, the associated advertising revenue could fund high-quality content in a short video, which can attract more viewers- a win-win situation for all. On the contrary, TikTok doesn’t offer a way to monetize videos for content creators and ad offering is in pipeline.
Is YouTube Shorts different from other TikTok competitors?
Many established tech companies in Silicon Valley have tried to replicate the success of TikTok but in vain. Facebook tried Lasso in South America, a teen focused short video format app which has yet to gain traction. Instagram and Snapchat attempted to adopt some of TikTok’s features. Byte, launched by the founder of Vine witnessed some early success but is still young. However, none of the’ newly inspired TikTok apps’ have taken off the original.
YouTube has also previously replicated the feature that resembled Instagram stories in 2018 which was successful for creators increasing the subscriber base on average by 8% over those who didn’t use the feature.
The YouTube Shorts app release date is expected to be the end of the year. It would be interesting to see whether TikTok users migrate to YouTube Shorts and YouTube can capture some thunder from the rival. It will be exciting to see how things develop and as a result, TikTok develops a monetization system and comes up with ad offering.