It looks like Instagram isn’t the only app going after TikTok’s audience as YouTube debuts a new feature that makes it easy for users to clip longer videos into shorter, bite-size content formats in a bid to compete with the aforementioned titans in the social media video space.
Of course, for those of you that have followed along with this phenomenon as we have, this shift caused a bit of a controversy over at Instagram with users just recently debuting a campaign imploring Meta to bring back the “old” app (whatever that means at this point). And, to their credit, Meta has waffled on some of their changes of late, deciding to wait on a UI overhaul that would transform it into TikTok and reassuring users that, yes, photography will still be welcome.
But what’s in it for YouTube? Few of us associate Alphabet’s video platform with this kind of thing, and they want to change that perception. You see, YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine (after Google itself) and, given how much eCommerce and shopping is taking place on Instagram and apps like it, they want in on the action. Whether you’re looking for a how-to video, the latest viral sensation, or you might want to buy something, Alphabet can’t have you using other services to “search” for these products thus YouTube’s pivot makes a lot of sense.
YouTube Shorts creation product lead Vadim Lavrusik told Mashable of the new feature:
“We want to empower creators to easily take a moment from one of their VODs [videos-on-demand], bring it into our tools and easily edit it into an engaging Short for their viewers… To use this feature, all creators need to do is to navigate to their channel and choose a video that they’d like to Edit into a Short.”
Interestingly, while the feature rolled out today to iOS and Apple devices, it is only available on the YouTube app. Early reports paint it as easy to use, and we don’t doubt that for one minute, yet we do want to take a special moment to shout out to YouTube’s engineers for their “automatic attribution” feature that makes sure “shorts” clips reference the larger worker from which they are drawn. We need to see more of that kind of “automatic” attribution in other apps in the industry and it’s great to see that here.
Are you surprised that YouTube is trying to compete with the Instagrams and TikToks of the world? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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