It was reported back in April that YouTube was working on its own TikTok rival called Shorts. Five months later, YouTube has finally announced its new "short-form video experience for creators and artists" who solely want to shoot content through their smartphone.
YouTube will be rolling out an early beta of Shorts with a bunch of creator tools for testing purposes in India. The company notes in its announcement that this is still an "early version of the product" but it is being released now so that it can take the necessary feedback and further improve it.
Videos in YouTube Shorts will be limited to 15 seconds or less in length. Some of the tools that will be available to creators while making Shorts videos include multi-segment camera that will allow them to stitch multiple clips together, record videos while using audio from YouTube's expansive audio library, speed controls, and a timer and countdown for easy hands-free recording.
To encourage creators to upload videos to Shorts, YouTube has also moved the create '+' icon to the bottom tab in Android. This change has also been made live in India for now, though YouTube will now expand it to iOS and other countries as well.
YouTube recently added a row to highlight short videos on its platform and to make navigating and discovering Shorts videos easier, YouTube will allow users to switch between videos by vertically swiping on them. YouTube also notes that it will continue improving Shorts and roll out new features to creators over the coming few weeks and months.