YouTube’s TikTok-like Shorts feature is rolling out in beta in the United States
TikTok has caused a massive ripple in the social media space. It managed to popularize the concept of short videos, similarly to what Vine made several years ago, and made it global, with the Android app having over 1 billion installs. And while companies like Facebook have already come out with their own alternatives, such as Instagram Reels, TikTok still manages to hold the crown for itself, despite tensions with other companies and even country bans and attempted bans from countries like India (where the app is completely banned) and the United States (where a ban was attempted). It has also spawned plenty of alternatives, with one of them being YouTube Shorts. YouTube Shorts were announced last year, and they are now rolling out in a beta stage to consumers in the United States.
YouTube first announced that this beta would be rolling out stateside in March as per chief product officer Neal Mohan (via The Verge). The feature first rolled out in India (where, again, TikTok is banned) several months ago when it was announced in September 2020 and has seen great success; the YouTube Shorts player apparently receives up to 3.5 billion views every day. It’s no surprise, then, that Google is rushing to roll it out in other markets as well. TikTok is forecasted to surpass 1 billion monthly active users in 2021. Furthermore, a big chunk of TikTok’s install base is in the United States, and Google is looking to tackle TikTok head-on with this feature.
While the Shorts beta was initially forecasted to roll out in the US in March, it seems like we may have gotten it a little bit earlier, as it’s already live on our end. A stateside release can also mean a potentially close global rollout, although Google is no stranger to region-exclusive features, so we may have to wait a little bit longer. Google has not yet provided a timetable on when the feature will roll out to everyone, as the beta will evidently only roll out to a select few, but it’ll probably be sooner than later.
If the feature is not available yet on your end, rolling into the beta program or downloading and sideloading a beta APK (which you can grab right here) should do the trick.