The Information has detailed that YouTube is launching at a TikTok-like feature called ‘Shorts’, which basically is expected to work like TikTok within the YouTube app at a time when there’s a flurry of video services out there. YouTube is still be far the leader but more and more young people are flocking to other apps and YouTube thinks it’s time to do something about that.
TikTok a Chinese video sharing app now has around 300 million monthly active users outside of China and has positioned itself as a huge platform for video sharing. But Google’s YouTube is blocked back in China at the moment and even at that still boasts of 2 billion users using its app on a monthly basis. This number is what YouTube brings as an advantage to the game in that it has more original and non-original content creators. YouTube’s monetisation schemes are also a big advantage that makes it a threat to TikTok and a combination of these advantages means creators don’t need to go outside of the YouTube app to share content into the TikTok-like feed.
That could really be the key advantage of YouTube’s ‘Shorts’. At the present time, TikTok doesn’t have a compelling monetisation process set up so as to equal what top creators can acquire by distributing their videos on YouTube. That is the thing that in the end led to the death of Vine – with Vine unfit to turn out how to viably monetise videos, its top creators wound up moving to YouTube. No matter how much you disagree with YouTube, one thing that is clear is that it has made millionaires out of content creators and that’s what really matters in the end.
That said, you can expect TikTok to start seriously looking at monetisation plans even though many short video platforms have attempted and failed. Douyin which is the Chinese version of TikTok, has had the option to effectively monetise through eCommerce integrations. TikTok is already reportedly thinking about this but there is no set time for the launch of this scheme even Shorts is said to be launching at some time this year. You can expect TikTok to fast-track this plan in light of the news from YouTube. TikTok is experimenting with ads too to beef up its revenue but the monetisation could make it more attractive to content creators but may make it lose its appeal with younger users.
The coming of Shorts may not necessarily spell doom for TikTok as it already has a loyal user base. TikTok has faced some privacy and security storms in the past and has come out unscathed each time. But there is no doubt that content creators would really consider moving to Shorts eventually. But there is the risk for YouTube as well if it can’t make it appealing to users. Many traditional users just want to come and watch videos the old fashion way and move on. There is the risk of the feature being underutilised eventually.