TikTok popularized short, vertical video content. After seeing its success, many platforms, including YouTube, have tried to leverage the app's popularity. Now, a wave of new features makes YouTube Shorts more similar to TikToks than ever.
On Tuesday, YouTube announced features that will help to optimize both the viewing and creating process for Shorts. Interestingly, most of these features are already found on TikTok and Instagram.
The first feature is called Collab, YouTube's take on TikTok's Duet feature, which allows users to react to a video in a split-screen format next to the original video as it's playing. This feature is already being rolled out to creators on iOS and will continue to be rolled out in upcoming weeks.
Live vertical videos are also coming to Shorts, another feature already found on TikTok and Instagram. With this feature, creators can livestream in a vertical video format for their followers to join.
Like the Live feature on TikTok, YouTube's version will allow fans to send their favorite creators funds while watching the live stream with a few taps. The YouTube demo of the Live feature showcased buttons with viewers' profiles that were next to the amount of money they gifted the creator.
YouTube is adding new effects and stickers, including a Q&A feature similar to the ones found on TikTok and Instagram, which would allow creators to ask their audience questions on their videos and see the responses populate in the comments.
To facilitate the creation of new content, creators can now respond to comments with another Short. They can also recreate a short they see with a click of the Remix button. Both of these features are already found on TikTok.
The last two new features are unique to YouTube -- and they have the potential to significantly improve both the creating and viewing experience on YouTube Shorts.
The first is the option to save Shorts to playlists. YouTube has always had this option for horizontal videos, and now users can also save their favorite short-form videos to specific playlists they can revisit later.
Lastly, YouTube is experimenting with a recomposition tool that allows creators to transform their horizontal videos into Shorts easily.
YouTube says users will be able to adjust the segment of the video's layout, and zoom and crop the clip to fit the Shorts layout. YouTube will share more details on this feature in the upcoming weeks.