What's the best way for YouTube Shorts to take on TikTok? Apparently, it's by continually copying its popular competitor. Yesterday, YouTube announced (via TechCrunch) that it would be adding voiceover narrations to Shorts on iOS. It'll let you add your own commentary on top of existing videos with just a few taps. That's simple enough, but it's also something that TikTok has offered for a while, and it brings to mind Instagram's repeated attempts to copy TikTok's core features.
Previously, YouTube also lifted TikTok's feature that lets you reply to comments with your own video. It's not unusual to tech companies copy each other — Facebook and Instagram practically made a habit of it. But it also makes it clear when established companies are starting to feel defensive about their younger, and usually more innovative, competition. To its credit, YouTube is trying to separate itself by sharing ad revenue with Shorts creators. TikTok may be wildly popular, but that historically hasn't led to much money for creators.