Breaking: the short form video rage is still on.
Earlier today, YouTube announced its own TikTok clone called YouTube Shorts.
However, the new feature is only available in India.
A Standard Suite of Tools
YouTube Shorts gives you all the goodies you’d expect in any decent short form video app.
You have a multi-segment camera, speed controls, a timer, and a countdown feature.
Oh, yeah. You also get access to a whole Alexandrian library of stock music.
Those are the same kinds of features you get with TikTok itself. You’ll also see a similar suite of tools with Instagram’s short form video experience as well.
As far as limitations: your YouTube Shorts video can’t last any longer than 15 seconds.
Hey, that’s why they call them “short form.”
On Android – For Now
As of now, YouTube Shorts is available on the YouTube app for Android. If you fire up the YouTube app, you likely won’t miss the notification about it.
YouTube really wants you to use Shorts.
What about iOS? Well, that’s coming. But it’s not clear as to when.
In India – For Now
If you took my advice above and looked for YouTube Shorts on your Android device, you may have been disappointed when you saw that it wasn’t there.
Unless, of course, you live in India.
As of now, YouTube Shorts is only available in India. That might seem unfair, but there’s a method to YouTube’s madness.
India recently banned TikTok.
That ban likely created a market for short form video apps because nature abhors a vacuum. YouTube is hoping to grab a significant chunk of that market share before it’s too late.
You can’t blame the company for wanting to strike while the iron’s hot.
Will YouTube offer Shorts in other countries?
Of course. Especially if those countries ban TikTok.
But even if they don’t, YouTube clearly wants to get in on the short form video craze. To be quite honest, it seems like the company should have been here a while ago.
A New Watch Experience
YouTube is also rolling out a new watch experience. It lets you swipe through Shorts.
Again, that’s a feature the company stole from TikTok.
In the past, YouTube added a row on its homepage that featured short videos. The new experience will make it easier for users to find the content they love.
By the way, many of the new tools I mentioned above rolled out as a bit of a surprise. When YouTube announced that it was planning a short form component, the company just said it would allow people to record 15-second videos.
YouTube Shorts is a full-featured TikTok clone.
The multi-segment camera that I mentioned earlier lets you splice together different video clips into a single (but short) clip.
And what about the stock music? That’s delivered by partners such as Believe Digital and T-Series. Literally hundreds of thousands of tracks are at your disposal.
The company says it’s working with other artists and labels to add more music to the library.
The Fate of TikTok at Home
So where does TikTok stand here in the U.S.?
According to CNBC’s Jim Cramer, the agreement with Oracle is a done deal.
Carmer said the agreement would be announced on Tuesday afternoon. It’s almost 4 PM on the East Coast as I write this and I can’t find any announcement.
But a source familiar with the situation confirmed to other CNBC reporters that a deal could be announced today.
So it looks like YouTube Shorts will have a U.S. competitor. So long as Oracle remains a “trusted technology provider.”
That’s a bit of a surprise because Oracle was considered a long shot during the negotiations. The company went up against both Microsoft and Walmart.
Keep in mind: Oracle chairman Larry Ellison is a major fundraiser for the president. That might have something to do with how this all plays out.