YouTube’s TikTok competitor, YouTube Shorts, is now rolling out globally. The service launched first in India last year, before expanding to around 26 countries including the US and the UK. Now YouTube Shorts, which is still in beta, will be available “across more than 100 countries around the world where YouTube is available.”
YouTube Shorts is playing catchup to TikTok as the short-form video platform of choice, but Google’s service is pushing Shorts’ integration with the wider YouTube ecosystem as a key selling point. It recently added the ability for Shorts creators to sample audio from YouTube videos, and says it’s exploring ways to offer quick links from Shorts to YouTube videos they’ve taken samples from.
Ironically, while YouTube is going to great lengths to emulate TikTok’s format, TikTok is experimenting with formats that are closer to YouTube’s traditional focus. It recently tripled its maximum video length to three minutes for everyone, and has been slowly rolling out apps on TV platforms like Android TV and Fire TV.