TikTok is pretty much the darling of social media platforms at the moment, despite all the uncertainty surrounding its future. As such, other platforms are looking to emulate its success and to date we’ve seen Instagram launch its own rival in the form of Reels. Now YouTube has one of its own, and it’s called Shorts.

We wrote about Shorts, which wasn’t its official name back then, in April this year, and now the platform is readying for a rollout on beta in India for Android users initially.

“We’ll continue to expand to iOS devices and in more countries soon. You can also expect more creation features in the coming months,” explains the company.

It therefore looks like YouTube is taking a play out of Instagram’s playbook and trying to take over a market which was TikTok’s biggest across the globe, prior to the Indian government banning the app alongside a number of other Chinese applications.

If you’re wanting to get your hands on it to try it out, your chances as slim, as YouTube will likely look to big creators in order to drum up interest in the app that allows users to shoot 15 second long videos.

The Shorts app will be accessible on YouTube itself, but it’s unclear whether this will be limited to mobile-only at this stage.

As for what functionality is being built into Shorts, YouTube’s blog post about the announcement says the following:

  • Create: Creation is at the core of short-form video, and we want to make it easy and fun to create Shorts. We’re starting to test just a few new tools for creators and artists with our early beta in India:
    • multi-segment camera to string multiple video clips together,
    • The option to record with music from a large library of songs that will continue to grow,
    • Speed controls that give you the flexibility to be creative in your performance,
    • And a timer and countdown to easily record, hands-free.”

Added to this is the company is stating that creators on the platform will be able to be discovered, as well as enjoy a lot of content, with the YouTube pitching the success of its own site as a selling point for Shorts.

“Every month, 2 billion viewers come to YouTube to laugh, learn and connect. Creators have built entire businesses on YouTube, and we want to enable the next generation of mobile creators to also grow a community on YouTube with Shorts,” the blog post points out.

“We encourage any mobile creator or artist to start uploading their existing short videos on YouTube today to start getting discovered,” it adds.

While it remains to be seen how successful Shorts and Reels are in usurping TikTok, it is the latter’s algorithm which ultimately sets it apart from the rest. If either YouTube or Instagram can get that right in order to keep users actively using their rivals, then they may have a chance.

At the time of writing, YouTube has not noted when a fully fledged launch of Shorts will happen.