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YouTube has launched a beta version of Shorts in the United States after the short-form video service enjoyed a surge in popularity.
The service is a direct rival to other short video apps like TikTok.
Since its launch in September, the YouTube Shorts player has amassed more than 6.5 billion daily views globally.
YouTube said more features will be added in the coming weeks. However, no word yet on when Shorts will come to other countries.
Short-form videos are all the rage thanks to TikTok
Shorts beta was first launched in India after TikTok and several other video apps were banned. By December 2020, the service tripled its user count.
Shorts allows users to create and post videos that are 15 seconds or less. At launch, the service featured creation tools such as editing to combine video clips, recording with music, and control speed settings.
Now, YouTube is adding other features such as the ability to add text to videos and sample audio from other videos for remixing purposes.
A major feature of Shorts is its access to licensed music. YouTube partnered with over 250 labels and publishers such as Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment, and the result is a library with millions of songs.
Eventually, Shorts creators can also use audio taken from other YouTube videos provided that the creators have given permission.
People in the US who want to watch Shorts can access them via a new row on the YouTube homepage. YouTube is also testing a new Shorts tab for its mobile app that allows instant access to videos.
YouTube is also looking at monetising Shorts and rewarding creators for their content.
Feature image: Memeburn/Shereesa Moodley