Google’s YouTube is here with its own version of the popular video sharing app TikTok.
The launch of Shorts, its new short-form video feature, was announced by the Google-owned company earlier this week.
The first place where YouTube intends to launch the early beta version of the product is India where the government had banned th Chinese owned TikTok in June this year over concerns of national security mid its border spat with China.
In the coming months, Shorts will be brought to additional countries long with more functionalities, YouTube said.
This new tool is targeted at social media creators to “shoot short, catchy videos using nothing but their mobile phones”, YouTube said. The app will have multiple features such as stringing multiple clips together, adding of music, and using a timer and countdown to record videos hands-free. All of these features were also available on TikTok.
According to analysts, the decision of the company to launch the service first in India is because of strategic reasons. Since the government ban on TikTok in June, Indian TikTokers have been scrambling to find alternative platforms.
After the explosive popularity of TikTok, YouTube becomes the latest social media giant to launch a short-form video sharing tool. Reels, a product that is nearly a carbon copy of TikTok, was launched last month by Instagram in the United States along with launching it in more than 50 other countries.
This latest announcement of YouTube follows on the heels of the news that TikTok and Oracle are to become business partners in the US in a deal that is aimed at satisfying the concerns of the Trump administration over the short video sharing app being a threat to the country’s national security.
On the other hand, another Chinese owned app that was banned in Indi recently and one that was very popular in the country – PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, better known as PUBG, cut its ties with Tencent in India.
Analysts see this as an effort of the developers of the game to get a relief from the government ban on Chinese mobile apps. India is one of the largest and most lucrative markets for the game.
Tencent Games in India will no longer be authorized to publish the mobile version of its PUBG franchise, PUBG Corporation said in a statement. All publishing responsibilities will be taken on by itself for its Indian business, where it was the biggest grossing mobile game in August, the month prior to its banning. the South Korean gaming company said.
“PUBG Corporation fully understands and respects the measures taken by the government as the privacy and security of player data is a top priority for the company,” it said in a statement. “It hopes to work hand-in-hand with the Indian government to find a solution that will allow gamers to once again drop into the battlegrounds while being fully compliant with Indian laws and regulations.”
(Adapted from CNN.com)