With Shorts consumption rising on YouTube, it’s making a bigger move to take on TikTok head-to-head, with the addition of a range of new, TikTok-like features for Shorts that’ll bring the two platforms into closer parity.
First off, YouTube’s adding a new 'Collab' feature which will enable you to record a Short in a side-by-side format with other YouTube or Shorts videos.
The format is a direct copy of TikTok’s ‘Duet’ functionality, which has become a popular option for creators to respond to other users’ posts.
Up till now, YouTube has only provided audio remix options for Shorts, but as it looks to lean further into the short-form trend, it’s incorporating more TikTok tools to challenge the app.
“Creators can choose from multiple layout options to easily join in with a split screen format. Just hit ‘Remix’ then ‘Collab’ to remix an eligible Short or YouTube video.”
In addition to this, YouTube’s also rolling out a new Q&A sticker, which will enable creators to prompt direct response from viewers within the Shorts stream.
Oh, also, live-streaming in vertical display format:
Yeah, YouTube’s not really trying to hide its admiration for TikTok, with its new vertical live stream offering also mimicking the look and feel of TikTok’s live content, which, also like TikTok, will be displayed in the Shorts stream.
“Viewers in the test [of this new functionality] will see previews of vertical live videos mixed into the Shorts feed. As someone taps into the experience, they’ll be placed in a scrollable feed of other live videos.”
YouTube’s also looking to make Shorts creation easier, by adding new shortcuts that will link a viewer through to the camera composer with the audio and/or effects from the Short that they were viewing applied, so they can use that as a template.
As per YouTube:
“From the Shorts player, tap the Remix button and select ‘use sound’. We’ll automatically surface the same audio time stamp from the Short you just watched, and the same effect as a creation suggestion. You can always mix and match to make it your own, too!”
Which is also much the same as what you can do on IG and TikTok, but could be handy for tapping into trends, or responding to clips in-stream.
YouTube also recently added the capacity to save Shorts to playlists right on YouTube, making it easier to keep tabs on Shorts content that you want to watch again, while it’s also testing new ‘recomposition tools’, which will enable you to transform your horizontal videos into Shorts clips.
Really, it’s a lot of TikTok coming to YouTube, which given the popularity of short-form video is probably not a bad thing. The advantage of YouTube, for creators at least, is that by building a presence on Shorts, you can then parlay that into building your following with longer-form content in the app as well, which can be more effectively monetized, and could facilitate a better pathway to revenue success.
Short-form content is more difficult to make money from, which is why TikTok’s keen to add in other elements, like in-stream shopping, to help supplement creator incomes.
In this respect, maybe having these tools available on YouTube will be even more valuable, and with Shorts now being watched by over 2 billion YouTube users every month, the interest levels in the format clearly rival YouTube and Instagram, which could help you reach a huge captive audience.