YouTube Shorts, which is part of the main YouTube app, allows users to create and share 15-second vertical videos. It is the company’s answer to TikTok and Instagram Reels. Last month, CEO Susan Wojcicki said the feature
had notched up 3.5 billion daily views since its launch in September 2020.
Shorts’ Indian rivals include Times Internet’s MX TakaTak, Dailyhunt’s Josh, Glance-owned Roposo, and ShareChat’s Moj.
On Wednesday, YouTube also announced a slew of new product updates that will be rolling out later this year.
Its kids-oriented app YouTube Kids will get new parental controls, including the ability to let parents include specific videos and channels from the main YouTube platform. Over 35 million viewers from more than 80 countries use the app every week, chief product officer Neal Mohan said in a blog post.
Mohan said YouTube is also building new tools to help creators diversify their revenue streams. It is currently testing a new applause feature that allows fans to show support for their favorite YouTube channels. A broader rollout is expected later this year.
Also being piloted is a new integrated shopping experience that allows viewers to buy products they see in videos from trusted creators.
“As consumer shopping habits increasingly shift to digital, we have an opportunity to meet the growing demand for e-commerce,” Mohan said. “Together, this group of products will further fuel the ambitions of today’s pioneers in the creative economy and their next-generation media companies.”
Last month, Wojcicki had said YouTube has paid more than $30 billion to creators, artists, and media companies in the past three years. The number of new channels joining the company’s Partner Programme, which allows creators to earn advertising revenue along with access to other monetisation features, more than doubled in 2020.
YouTube Music will get more personalised mixes based on everyday activities and moods. User created playlists will be made more discoverable while consumers will get more features while creating their own playlists, Mohan said in the blog post.
Apart from this, YouTube will soon start adding video chapters to relevant videos automatically, to enable users to navigate them easily. Currently, creators need to manually include chapters. Mohan said the feature is being used in more than 20,000 videos every day.
“Later this year, we’ll launch a redesign of the YouTube VR app homepage to improve navigation, accessibility, and search functionality. We now support a combination of SD, HD, 4K, VR, HDR, and live video on nearly every device with an internet connection” Mohan added.
Disclosures: Times Internet is the operator of economictimes.com.