Youtube Wants a Piece of the Tiktok Pie and is Making its Own Version of the App

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YouTube is where the old people hang out now because all the cool kids are on TikTok. But YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki doesn’t want to lose users to the upstart service and there are plans afoot to fight back back with “Shorts”, YouTube’s own bite-sized video app.

TikTok really started making waves worldwide when it merged with Musical.ly a couple of years ago. If you’re still not on the TikTok bandwagon, it’s an app that lets you create short videos with users able to add music, audio clips, and the like to create cringey, funny, and downright weird content. It has around 800 million monthly active users, and was downloaded 738 million times in 2019. Total downloads number 1.5 billion and it’s now the world’s seventh most-used social platform behind Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, FB Messenger, WeChat, and Instagram (via Business of Apps). So of course, YouTube – video king extraordinaire – wants to get in on that.

A new report claims that the company’s answer to TikTok is a something called ‘Shorts’ that will be accessible from within the existing YouTube app. It’ll offer a library of licensed music for users and isn’t afraid to straight up rip-off features from other apps to make its own better, like Instagram’s Stories.

MSNBC’s Dylan Byers has confirmed the news on Twitter, saying he’s talked to Wojcicki about plans for a TikTok  rival:

This is potentailly big…. And, bonus: YouTube chief Susan Wojcicki and I talked about TikTok in a podcast episode that will air later this month. We’ve got an item coming soon confirming this news, along with a few of her comments on YouTube & short-form video >>> https://t.co/0Pqm6JqVUz

— Dylan Byers (@DylanByers) April 1, 2020

So all you old cronies out there will have a chance to get a YouTube version of TikTok to play with before long. Why download a new app when the one you got steals the best bits from everywhere else? [The Verge]

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