While most eyeballs are still on TikTok right now, other social media companies are trying to create their own version of the short-form video sharing platform to recreate the success and maybe get a share of the market as well. YouTube earlier launched Shorts in beta in India (since TikTok is banned there) and now it looks like they’re finally ready to launch in the U.S. This is one of the announcements that they have made which also includes a few improvements to various YouTube products.
YouTube says their Shorts player has been receiving more than 3.5 billion daily views globally even though it’s still in beta in India. Basically, it’s a short-form video experience that is mobile first as creators and artists can shoot, edit, and upload using only their mobile devices. It looks like the India beta testing is successful as they have seen the growth of channels that are using the Shorts creation tools. Now they will be expanding to the U.S. market as they will soon make the tools available to more creators. Some are saying this will be sometime in March so that’s really soon.
YouTube launched Chapters last year so viewers can easily jump to sections in a video that they’re interested in, especially for content like how-to’s, reviews, cooking, exercise, and other types of longer form videos. Creators can add timestamp descriptions to generate chapters but soon they will be automatically added to relevant videos. We don’t know yet how this will look like so if you want control over how your video will be divided into chapters, you better do it yourself.
Google also says they will be launching a redesign of the YouTube VR app homepage later this year to improve navigation, accessibility, and search. YouTube Music will also get more personalized mixes centered around every day activities and users can expect more features later on. They will also be bringing more monetization opportunities for creators to help them build their own businesses as well.
YouTube TV previously announced that they are bringing the ability to download content for offline access. They will also soon be adding an add-on option for those who want to watch shows in 4K (at least those that support that) or download them to their DVR for watching later. Adding this will also let you watch unlimited concurrent streams at your house so people in the household can watch on different screens at the same time.