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YouTube is adding a slew of new TikTok-like features to Shorts

YouTube is adding a slew of new TikTok-like features to Shorts


New features include a vertical live video feed, side-by-side recording, and additional tools to make Shorts out of longform YouTube videos.

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YouTube logo image in red over a geometric red, black, and cream background
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

YouTube is rolling out more features to its TikTok competitor, Shorts — including several that TikTok users will recognize.

Most notably, YouTube is experimenting with adding previews of live videos to a user’s feed of Shorts (this is how TikTok live videos also appear). Viewers can click in to watch the stream and then scroll through a feed filled with other livestreams. Creator monetization features like paid chatting and memberships will be available in this feed as well.

Placing live videos in more places on the app could help creators find a new audience with Shorts. It also mirrors the way TikTok has emphasized live videos as a way to sell products, fine-tune a target audience, and host splashy virtual events that boost engagement.

YouTube says full-screen live videos will roll out gradually over the coming months.

The company is introducing new features for making Shorts videos, too. First, it’s testing new tools to make shortform videos from a horizontal YouTube clip, including the ability to zoom and crop the original video.

A YouTube Shorts screen showing audio and effects suggestions
YouTube will suggest audio clips and effects.
Image: YouTube

Shorts creators will also get a new suggestions feature that pulls the audio clip and effect used in a video they want to recreate. It’s similar to other features on TikTok and Meta’s Reels; the latter recently updated its version, making it even quicker to copy and use audio and effects from another video. YouTube’s version will pick up the audio from the same time stamp as the clip a user is replicating.

Beginning today, the company is adding the ability to record a video side by side with another clip, similar to the TikTok feature Duet. The feature — called Collab — will include multiple layouts, and creators will be able to use the effect on Shorts and normal YouTube videos.

YouTube has been working to compete with TikTok’s shortform dominance. In an effort to pull in more creators, YouTube recently lowered its eligibility requirements to monetize on the platform, opening up some features of the YouTube Partner Program to smaller creators.