YouTube reportedly developing a TikTok rival to be called ‘Shorts’

YouTube could be aiming to steal the thunder from Chinese short video-sharing social networking app TikTok. The most popular video-sharing site in the world is reportedly working on a fresh feature to be called ‘Shorts.’ According to news site The Information, Shorts will be integrated into the YouTube mobile app by the end of the year.

The report also claims that YouTube would leverage its huge catalog of licensed music, which includes the biggest labels and recording artists from around the world. This would obviously stand out as Short’s advantage against the lip sync videos that are popularly generated by users of TikTok.

Moreover, Shorts will pave the way for a David vs. Goliath battle between YouTube and TikTok. YouTube logically has a bigger war chest in terms of resources. In 2019, YouTube posted an advertising revenue of over $15 billion (P750 billion). In comparison, TikTok generated in-app purchase revenue of $177 million (P8.85 billion) in 2019, based on estimates by SensorTower, a mobile analytics firm.

Based on industry estimates, TikTok has more than 41 million daily active users outside its home base, China. The app has been downloaded by up to about 842 million times in Google and Apple app stores in the last 12 months. To date, YouTube has about 2 billion users worldwide.

Hopes are high for YouTube’s Shorts as many tech companies have already tried but failed to beat TikTok. Among those apps were Byte (launched by one of Vine’s co-founders) and Lasso (jointly launched by Instagram and Snapchat).