The Brief: Google, the parent company of long-form video platform YouTube, will reportedly release a new short-form feature called YouTube Shorts to compete with TikTok by the end of 2020.


YouTube Shorts is a rumored user-generated video feature intended to rival TikTok. According to The Information, Google plans to release the Shorts feature as part of YouTube’s mobile app before the end of 2020. The report comes via two unnamed sources in The Information.

TikTok is marked by users creating short videos (typically 15 seconds to a minute-long) using music. Shorts will reportedly allow users to do the same and create brief video clips using YouTube’s catalog of licensed music. Those sounds will “be available to use as soundtracks for the videos created by users,” claimed The Information.

Shorts will reportedly compete directly with TikTok, as it was the most downloaded app in 2019 with more than 700 million downloads, according to CNET. TikTok also saw more than 125 percent in growth over the last two years, according to a January 2020 report from App Annie via The Verge. And as The Information pointed out, TikTok had approximately 842 million first-time downloads from both Apple and Google’s app stores over the last 12 months, which is a 15 percent increase year over year.

At the time of publication, YouTube has not commented on the reports, telling CNET, “We don’t comment on rumor or speculation.”