YouTube working on TikTok rival called Shorts – report

MANILA, Philippines – YouTube is looking to go up against TikTok with its own short-form platform Shorts, according to The Information, Wednesday, April 1, US time. 

Citing "two people familiar with the matter," the site reported that Shorts will not be a separate app but will exist as a feature inside the main YouTube app. Like TikTok, Shorts will have a feed of the videos created by users, who will also be able to use licensed music on the platform as soundtracks. TikTok is especially popular for letting people use songs as a key element in their videos, along with convenient, on-the-fly editing tools and filters. 

The Information called it "the most serious effort yet by a Silicon Valley tech company to combat the rise of TikTok, a rare example of a Chinese-owned social media app that has become a global hit." 

TikTok, owned by China-based ByteDance, has faced some scrutiny too, especially in the US, where authorities have been warned of the spying potential of the app. There has been a critical eye on some Chinese tech brands over fears that they may be used to surreptitiously collect data on people, which could lead to incidents such as foreign interference in elections. 

YouTube isn't the only tech giant looking to create its own version of TikTok. Facebook has Lasso, launched in 2018 while In November 2019, Facebook-owned Instagram launched Reels.

According to Sensor Tower in its January 2020 report, TikTok was downloaded and installed more than 738 million times in 2019, which accounts for 44% of all-time downloads at 1.65 billion. It's this growth that has other tech companies wanting to step into the short-form arena. – Rappler.com