TikTok unsurprisingly saw a sudden surge in new users within the past days but the social network’s history hasn’t always been bright. After quickly taking over the Internet, its connections to the Chinese government cast it in a less favorable light, at least among the security and privacy-conscious population. Despite that, TikTok continues to thrive mostly because it remains unrivaled. That, however, might soon come to an end with YouTube Shorts.
TikTok’s popularity could probably be credit for its simplicity more than ingenuity. In a way, it combined Vine’s once-popular short video format, Instagram’s looping Boomerang and the ability to select music from a free library of audio clips. Of course, there have been other copycats since then but it might take a giant like YouTube to truly challenge the current champ.
The Information reports that YouTube is planning on releasing a new feature simply called “Shorts” that has the exact same functionality. It would allow users to record short videos and select from background audio from YouTube’s catalog of licensed content which is bound to be larger than anything TikTok can offer. YouTube’s popularity and its sizable library could very well turn the tide away from the Chinese social network upstart.
Signs of this Shorts features were verified by XDA’s teardown of the YouTube Android app, revealing text related to uploading and playback options. The site speculates that it would be limited to certain YouTubers with a minimum number of subscribers, just like the platform’s existing Stories feature.
XDA also discovered clues about a Bedtime Reminder to keep tabs on users’ prolonged use of the app during these times. Users can set a time when they’ll be reminded to go to bed but could also set it to only remind you after you’ve finished watching the current video.