Google-owned YouTube is undoubtedly the world’s biggest video-content platform, with over two billion active and logged-in users every month. To compete with the likes of Tik-Tok and Instagram Reels, YouTube launched its own short-video platform last September called YouTube Shorts.
While the platform initially released only in India, it has since expanded to the U.S. and today, the YouTube Shorts has officially launched in Canada, the U.K., Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela. YouTube Shorts allows users to record 60-second videos, all while being able to dive into a large catalogue of audio to sample.
Users can now use sample audio from any and every video that has been uploaded to YouTube to utilize in Shorts, as long as the video’s creators allow it. Shorts users will also have access to a much larger library of licensed audio from more than 250 labels and publishers, including Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Publishing, Warner Music Group and Warner Chappell Music, Believe, Because Music, Merlin, Beggars, Ditto, AEI, The State51, Kobalt and others.
In addition, the app has a quick and simple editing station that allows users to add photographs or clips from their own camera to the video, as well as text and colour filters.
According to Todd Sherman, YouTube’s product lead for Shorts, the platform is “Focusing on a new generation of creators that only need a smartphone to create content,” with the aim to build an ecosystem that’s connected to YouTube’s long-form content and YouTube music.
Shorts is still technically in beta, so it’s to be expected that YouTube will add a slew of additional features in the coming months as it monitors how the sub-platform is received and what people like and dislike about it.
While the beta platform has officially released in the above-mentioned countries today, I wasn’t able to access the ‘create shorts’ feature on my YouTube app, though I could view videos made by other creators. According to YouTube, the rollout will be fully live by the end of June and will have a button on the app’s bottom tab to access the beta feature. Additionally, you’ll have to update your YouTube app, or download it if you don’t have it already (which is highly unlikely).
In other short-video content platform news, you can now watch and create Instagram Reels on Facebook in Canada.