Competition in the short-video space in the country continues to intensify with YouTube being the latest entrant in the segment with its ”Shorts” offering as the Google-owned platform attempts to fill the void created after the ban of TikTok in India.
In a blogpost, YouTube said it is building YouTube Shorts, a new short-form video experience (15 seconds or less), for creators and artists who want to shoot short, catchy videos using their mobile phones.
“Over the next few days in India, we”re launching an early beta of Shorts with a handful of new creation tools to test out. This is an early version of the product, but we”re releasing it now to bring you — our global community of users, creators and artists — on our journey with us as we build and improve Shorts,” it added.
YouTube said it will continue to add more features and expand to more countries in the coming months as it learns from users” feedback.
On June 29, the Indian government banned 59 mobile apps with Chinese links, including the popular short video platform TikTok, terming these apps prejudicial to sovereignty of the country. Since then, a number of homegrown apps have been launched in the country, including Roposo, Chingari, Josh (Dailyhunt) and Moj (ShareChat).
Facebook”s Instagram, too, has launched ”Reels” within its app to cash in on the spurt in usage of such platforms after the TikTok ban. According to analysts, while the ban has opened up opportunities for players to accelerate growth, they need to ensure good user experience and engagement on their platforms to be successful.
YouTube said over the years, its platform has enabled creators to share their voice, who have found an audience of more than two billion people.
“User-generated short videos were born on YouTube starting with our first upload, a short 18-second video ”Me at the zoo”. As technology advances, creators and artists can now take advantage of the incredible power of smartphones to easily create and publish high-quality content wherever they are in the world,” it said.
The company said its team is focused on building its foundation across three main areas – create, getting discovered and watching.
YouTube said it is starting to test new tools for creators and artists with its early beta in India. This includes a multi-segment camera to string multiple video clips together, the option to record with music from a large library of songs, speed controls, and a timer and countdown to easily record, hands-free.
“We also recently rolled out a prominent new spot for the create icon on Android, starting in India. We”ll continue to expand to iOS devices and in more countries soon. You can also expect more creation features in the coming months,” it added.