YouTube to Launch TikTok Competitor By End of 2020 (Report)

New “Shorts” feature will be housed inside YouTube’s existing mobile app, per new report from The Information

Youtube is looking to take on TikTok with the launch of its own short clips feature by the end of the year, according to a report from The Information.

The feature, aptly dubbed “Shorts,”  will be housed inside YouTube’s existing mobile app, rather than being its own standalone app. It’s unclear how long “Shorts” will be; TikTok videos, for comparison, run up to 15 seconds long, while also allowing users to link a few clips together for longer posts.

A YouTube rep said “we don’t comment on rumor or speculation” when TheWrap reached out for comment.

According to people briefed on the matter, The Information said “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,” allowing users to add songs to their videos.

TikTok’s popularity, especially among Gen Z users, makes it easy to see why YouTube would launch a rival. The app has been downloaded more than 120 million times in the U.S., according to data shared by Sensor Tower late last year, and regularly sits at or near the top of the App Store’s rankings.

Owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, TikTok’s has been increasingly scrutinized in recent months for its data collection practices. The U.S. Army banned soldiers from using the app on government issued phones for being a “cyber threat,” and last November the U.S. Government opened a national security review of ByteDance.

YouTube isn’t the first major tech company to try and mirror TikTok’s success; Facebook in late 2018 launched Lasso, its own app dedicated to brief videos, but is has failed to gain much traction since debuting.

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