Alphabet Inc’s YouTube is launching its own version of a new short video service called “Shorts” to rival social media competitors, Chinese-owned TikTok and Facebook’s Instagram Reels. YouTube “Shorts” will allow users to create a 15 seconds mobile-friendly video with special effects, as well as, speed controls and countdown options for hands-free recording.
It will also allow users to record using music as well as access to a library of songs.
Chris Jaffe, YouTube vice president of product management wrote in a blog post on YouTube’s website that the new YouTube feature will initially be released in India over the next few days.
Industry analysts claim the launch of YouTube “Shorts” in India is a strategic move by YouTube, especially after India banned the Chinese-owned TikTok and 58 other Chinese apps in June.
The ban of TikTok by India was announced following clashes at the China-India border at the Galway Valley in the Himalayas.
YouTube’s “Shorts” announcement also comes as American-owned Oracle Corp and China’s ByteDance team up to keep TikTok operating in the United States, after pressure from the Trump administration for the Chinese company ByteDance to find a US home.
The aim of this collaboration is to avoid President Trump’s warning to shut down TikTok in the US over national security concerns.
India’s government also cited similar national security concerns when it banned TikTok in June.