YouTube Shorts hopes to tempt Irish users away from TikTok

12 Jul 2021

Image: YouTube

YouTube Shorts, now launching its creation tools in Ireland, is set to compete with other popular video-based social media platforms such as TikTok and Instagram Reels.

Shorts, YouTube’s latest short-form video creation feature, will be available to users in Ireland from 14 July.

First announced in September 2020, YouTube Shorts will now be available in more than 100 countries where YouTube can be accessed. The beta release, coming to Ireland this week, will allow users to create short and catchy videos on their smartphones.

While users in Ireland have been viewing the short-form videos since the launch of YouTube Shorts, they will now be able to access the feature’s suite of creation tools. This includes a multi-segment camera to string multiple videos together, and the ability to record with music and control speed settings.

Audio can be sourced from other Shorts as well as from the billions of YouTube videos available on the platform.

“This means that users can give their own creative spin on the content they love to watch on YouTube and help find it a new audience – whether it’s reacting to their favourite jokes, trying their hand at a creator’s latest recipe, or re-enacting comedic skits,” YouTube said in an announcement.

YouTube added that creators will be able to opt out if they don’t want their long-form video remixed by other users on YouTube Shorts.

YouTube also announced it is adding new features to Shorts in all existing and new markets, including the ability to add text to specific points in the video, automatic captions and recording for up to 60 seconds.

Users will also be able to add clips from their phone’s gallery to recordings made with the Shorts camera, and add basic filters.

Todd Sherman, global product manager for YouTube Shorts, said that more features are on their way to make it fun and easy to create short videos.

“We know that it will take us time to get this right, and we’re just getting started. We can’t wait for you to try Shorts and help us build a first-class short-form video experience right on YouTube,” he said.

Creators can add music to their Shorts by accessing YouTube’s large library of songs from more than 250 labels and publishers globally. This includes music from industry giants Universal, Sony and Warner, among others.

Long before the announcement of the creation tools, YouTube had already added sections on its homepage and app dedicated to Shorts. Users could swipe vertically from one video to the next to view content.

To date, the YouTube Shorts player has more than 6.5bn views globally.

The feature is likely YouTube’s attempt to compete with other short-form video sharing platforms such as TikTok and Instagram Reels.

In the face of competition from other video-based social media, YouTube is ramping up its efforts to attract creators to produce content on its platform. The company said that it has paid more than $30bn to creators, artists and media companies in the last three years.

In May, YouTube announced a $100m fund available to all creators of Shorts to be distributed between 2021 and 2022.

“Each month, we’ll reach out to thousands of creators whose Shorts received the most engagement and views to reward them for their contributions. We’ll also ask these creators to share their feedback with us so we can continue to improve the product experience,” said YouTube in the announcement.

Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic