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YouTube may counter TikTok with a feed of video 'Shorts'

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Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
April 1, 2020
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Jon Fingas/Engadget

YouTube may be worried that TikTok is luring away its viewers. Sources talking to The Information claim YouTube is readying a Shorts feature in its mobile app that will include a remarkably familiar-sounding feed with short videos from fellow users. You could take advantage of YouTube's extensive song licensing to add the soundtrack of your choice, too. Shorts would be available by the end of 2020.

YouTube declined to comment on the report.

Google's video service has borrowed social media features before, such as its Snapchat- and Instagram-like Stories. In this case, the goal would likely be the same -- YouTube may be worried that it'll lose viewers who are content to watch minute-long glow-ups and shuffle tutorials instead of much longer clips. The challenge, of course, is convincing people that YouTube is a compelling place to visit. Part of TikTok's cachet comes from its reputation as a social hub for teens and young adults, and they might not want to jump ship no matter how well Shorts works.

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