What is YouTube Shorts? TikTok’s next big competitor

Alice Hearing

Since TikTok’s existence was threatened by a potential ban in the US, short video apps hoping to take over where TikTok left off came out in droves.

Most notably, these included Instagram Reels, Triller, and now YouTube Shorts. While TikTok no longer looks death in the face, the apps that fast-tracked their development are still alive and thriving, proving that despite Vine’s untimely departure, short video is a profitable medium.

As of yet, none of these platforms have managed to fully rival TikTok’s insane success — it has over 1 billion users globally. However, YouTube Shorts has shown to be pretty successful since it was first launched and tested.

YouTube recently revealed that Shorts are hitting 3.5 billion views per day during its early test run in India. CEO Susan Wojcicki announced in a post that the company will be expanding Shorts to new markets in the coming year. On February 17, YouTube revealed that the beta will expand to the US in the coming weeks.

YouTube Shorts
Shorts are hitting 3.5 billion views per day during its early test run in India

What is YouTube Shorts?

Shorts can be accessed via the YouTube app and looks very similar to TikTok. It gives users the ability to add music, change the speed of the clip, and use a timer. Clips of up to 6o seconds can be created, but if you use the Shorts camera, videos are limited to 15 seconds. YouTube recommends only uploading clips of 15 seconds or less.

To create a Short, go into the YouTube app and click on the large plus sign in the middle of the menu. From there you can record and trim any video, then upload it with a title and description.

To view Shorts, some users will have a shelf on their explore page where you can enter a rolling feed of videos, but since this is in beta mode, not everyone will have access. You can also view Shorts by searching, or finding a channel that will upload them.

One user who has managed to thrive from Shorts is Jake Fellman, who frequently uploads Among Us parodies. In the space of just 30 days, he gained over 1 million subscribers through Shorts alone, and now is close to hitting 3 million subscribers.

Although, it won’t work for everyone, especially if you’re looking to make a profit. Right now, YouTube says ads will not be served on videos, nor will they generate YouTube Premium subscription revenue.

YouTube has also confirmed that they do not contribute to YouTube’s Partner Programme eligibility, but subscribers gained from these videos will still count. Despite this, YouTube says there may be opportunities to monetize these videos in the future.

About The Author

Alice is a former writer at Dexerto based in London, covering online entertainment. Alice specialized in influencer culture on TikTok and YouTube as well as news and trends across prolific online platforms.