TikTok is one of the most successful social networks of the moment. Although it is not the one with the most users, the proof of its success is found in how its competitors are
copying taking inspiration from its format. We saw it with the Instagram Reels and now YouTube arrives with its ‘Shorts’, the new short video format that is now available in Spain.
At the moment, YouTube Shorts is in beta and has not reached everyone, but many users are already being activated. We have already been able to test it and we anticipate that Google has not cut anything when it comes to “being inspired” by the Chinese social network.
This is how YouTube Shorts works
If you are one of the lucky ones who have already activated YouTube Shorts, when you enter YouTube you will see a strip just below the first video where you can view Shorts from other users. Navigation between videos is the same as on TikTok; to see the next video you have to scroll down. The main difference is that the channel of the person who has uploaded it is at the bottom instead of the side. By the way, yes many of the videos you can see have the ‘fly’ of TikTok, that is, they are not even original content created on YouTube.
To create a Short, click on the + button at the bottom of the screen and choose the option ‘Create a short’. Here it will ask us for access to the camera and the microphone.
The recording interface of YouTube Shorts causes us a strong déjà vu again. The app lets us choose if we want to record a clip of 15 or 60 seconds, as well as upload one (or more) that we already have in the gallery. If we choose to record it directly in the app, we have several tools such as adjusting the speed, adding filters or activating the timer. The option to add music did not work for us on this screen, but it did work once the video was recorded.
When we record or add the clips from the gallery, when we click Next we get to the editing screen where more tools appear at the bottom. The first is ‘Music’. Here we can search for a song that suits our video and also mark them as favorites to always have them at hand.
The main advantage over TikTok is that the songs are whole and then we can adjust them, selecting the piece that best suits us for our video. We can also adjust the volume between the original clip and the music.
The next option we have is to add texts. Same as on TikTok or Instagram, we have several styles of letter, we can put background, change color and align it as we want. Without much change on this front.
Where we do have a notable change is in the timeline, an option that TikTok does not have and that comes in handy when it comes to subtitling videos. When we click on a text we can choose the duration that it will have in the video. If we have several texts, the timeline is very useful to adjust them all by having a visual guide of when each one will appear and disappear.
We also have the option to apply color filters to the entire video, but we do not have augmented reality filters or stickers. There are also no video effects like transitions. In this section, TikTok beats Shorts long.
Once we have edited the video, it is time to publish it. We simply have to give it a title, choose whether it will be public or private and select the audience. This is used to mark if it is content for children or not. From this screen we cannot add a description, but once published it allows us to edit it. And that’s it, here I leave you my blockbuster.
We will have to see how the invention works for them, but YouTube has the handicap that it is not a social network as such, so it does not seem that it is going to do much competition to TikTok.
It has become clear that YouTube Shorts is a clone of TikTok, from the way videos are navigated, how they are recorded, to how they are edited. The handling differences are few and we have both positive changes such as music editing or the timeline, but also shortcomings such as effects or stickers. But the main change is the audience. It will be necessary to see how the invention works, but YouTube has the handicap that it is not a social network as such and it does not seem that it is going to do much competition.