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YouTube’s TikTok Rival, Shorts, Rolls Out in the US

The new feature comes to the States after testing in India for more than six months

Shorts, YouTube’s new short-form video feature akin to TikTok, is now rolling out in the U.S., the tech giant said on Thursday. American YouTube viewers should see the new feature pop up “over the next several weeks,” including as early as Thursday, according to a company blog post.

Like TikTok, Shorts allows users to create quick-hit videos that run 15 seconds or less. Users also have access to “over 250 labels and publishers,” including Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group, to add songs to their clips.

Other similarities to TikTok include the ability to swipe through a never-ending string of suggested videos and the option to subscribe to creators. Rather than being a standalone app, though, Shorts will be featured on the home tab of YouTube’s mobile app.

YouTube isn’t the only Silicon Valley giant looking to rival TikTok. Instagram last summer launched Reels, which shares a number of similarities with TikTok, including, most notably, users being able to create and share 15-second clips that feature a wide range of music. Reels users are also able to lift and edit audio from other videos. Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, has been highlighting viral clips in a “Featured Reels” section on the app’s Explore section.

For both Instagram and YouTube, their TikTok clones will ideally keep viewers engaged, allowing them to be peppered with more ads — and keep them off of TikTok.

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