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  • Meerelle Cruz

YouTube Launches Shorts Beta in All Regions

While TikTok continues to lead the app download statistics, YouTube is not about to give up any ground on video content without a battle. YouTube has expanded beta testing of its Shorts tools to users in the UAE and the Middle East, the next stage in its TikTok clone attempt, as part of its ongoing effort to dampen the popularity of the short-form video app.

Shorts was first made available to Indian users in September of last year, two months after TikTok was banned in the country, before being made available to US users in March of this year. Despite being a carbon copy of TikTok, the Shorts feed has been popular so far.

Shorts now has 6.5 billion daily views, up from 3.5 billion at the end of 2020, according to YouTube's parent company Alphabet's quarterly release earlier this year. Shorts are accessed in a variety of ways, with some users simply viewing them as standard YouTube clips rather than going through the specific Shorts tab. However, YouTube's scale can present major competition for TikTok, and YouTube's creator monetization tools, which are also more advanced, could prove to be a potent magnet for top TikTok stars, which could be troublesome for the rising app in the long run. Indeed, many TikTok creators are already extending their reach to YouTube and TikTok, with big-name TikTokers like Charli D'Amelio and Addison Rae garnering millions of YouTube subscribers.

While most don't post as frequently on YouTube as they do on TikTok, with such large followings, their YouTube monetization potential is likely significantly bigger than TikTok alone. That offers them some protection in case TikTok is banned in the United States, but it also gives them more revenue options in comparison, which might lead to them migrating more to YouTube if TikTok fails to produce a comparable revenue stream. And, since YouTube Shorts is essentially the same thing, it may be easier to do so thanks to the platform's improved capabilities. In other words, while YouTube Shorts isn't TikTok right now and never will be, it doesn't have to be; it simply needs to be near enough to present a realistic alternative for TikTok stars who are contemplating other possibilities. This is why YouTube Shorts' continued expansion is critical - and at these views, it's worth examining whether it could fit into your content strategy as it expands into new location.

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