YouTube Shorts logo is seen displayed on a phone s
YouTube Shorts logo is seen displayed on a phone screen. YouTube introduced YouTube Shorts feature that is supposed to be a competitor to TikTok. (Photo Illustration by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
  • YouTube has introduced Shorts, which allows users to create 60 seconds of catchy and trendy videos.
  • Users will be able to sample audio and music already on the YouTube platform if the original creators of the longer-form videos consent.  
  • Shorts users can also add text to the videos, and captions can be added automatically.
  • For more stories, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

YouTube has just launched a short-form video sharing platform called YouTube Shorts in South Africa, where users can record up to 60 seconds of catchy videos from their smartphones.

YouTube Shorts is the latest offering to compete with the trendy Chinese short-form video sharing platform, TikTok, one of the most downloaded social media apps.

YouTube Shorts was first launched last year in September and will now be available in more than 100 countries where YouTube is already available. Shorts player has surpassed 6.5 billion daily views globally.  

"Shorts will be integrated into the YouTube experience users already know and love. For example, if a user hears a snippet of a song on Shorts, they can easily find the full song, watch the music video, or learn more about the artist — all on YouTube," the company said in a statement. 

South Africans were previously only able to view Shorts on YouTube, but now have access to its creation tools, including capabilities such as the multi-segment camera, stringing multiple video clips together, recording with music, and controlling speed settings.

Like TikTok, content creators will be able to sample audio from other Shorts as well as billions of videos across the YouTube platform from all over the world

"This means that users can put 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.

The company said that creators would still maintain control of their content and will be able to opt out if they don't wish for their long-form videos remixed. 

Todd Sherman, Global Product Manager for YouTube Shorts, said the company wants to make it easy and fun for content creators to create Shorts.

"As we continue to build Shorts alongside our creators and artists, we'll be adding more features for users to try," he said.

Creators will have an expansive repertoire of songs to use in their Shorts from more than 250 labels across the globe. These include Universal Music Group's brands and publishing companies, Sony Music Entertainment and Sony Music Publishing, Warner Music Group and Warner Chappell Music, Believe, Merlin, Because Music, Beggars, and, Kobalt. 

YouTube has also introduced new features that allow users to add text to specific points in their videos, add captions to a Shorts video automatically, and record up to 60 seconds of video with the Shorts camera. They can also add clips from a phone's gallery and use basic filters for colour correcting.

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