YouTube has begun a short video testing which would rival TikTok in India. YouTube Shorts made its debut as TikTok pursues a partnership with Oracle that it hopes will spare it from being shut-down in the US by President Donald Trump.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Monday confirmed a bid from Oracle concerning TikTok’s American operations after the video-sharing app’s parent ByteDance rejected a proposal from Microsoft.
But it remained unclear whether the venture would pass muster with Washington regulators.
“Shorts is a new short-form video experience for creators and artists who want to shoot short, catchy videos using nothing but their mobile phones,” YouTube vice president of product management Chris Jaffe said in a blog.
“Over the next few days in India, we’re launching an early beta of Shorts with a handful of new creation tools to test this out.”
YouTube Shorts videos are limited to 15 seconds, according to the Google-owned platform used by some 2 billion people worldwide.
Jaffe noted that Shorts will be modified based on user feedback before being made more broadly available.
TikTok’s brand of brief, quirky videos made on users’ cellphones has grown hugely popular.
But Trump’s claims that TikTok could be used by China to track US federal employees, build dossiers for blackmail and conduct corporate espionage has sparked a diplomatic storm between Washington and Beijing.
TikTok has rejected the charges and sued over the crackdown, contending that the US order was a misuse of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act because the platform is not “an unusual and extraordinary threat.
YouTube is currently planning Shorts, its answer to TikTok, as a feature inside its existing mobile app. Shorts will include a feed of brief videos posted by users inside the Google-owned app and will take advantage of the video service’s catalog of licensed music, songs from which will be available to use as soundtracks for the videos created by users, said the people. The move represents the most serious effort yet by a Silicon Valley tech company to combat the rise of TikTok, a rare example of a Chinese-owned social media app that has become a global hit.