YouTube tries to copy TikTok’s Format in India

Streaming video giant YouTube, whose parent company Alphabet —formerly Google— wants to take a piece of the action in the fire sale regarding TikTok’s imminent acquisition at the hands of Larry Ellison’s Oracle. The format of sharing short videos contrasts with the nearly endless length videos that YouTube can host.

Youtube Shorts will have creativity at its core in the form of short videos, it will allow many users to connect with each other, established creators will be able to interact with the platform, and such interactions will take the platform somewhere. Let’s just hope that this initiative doesn’t end up like Google+

YouTube at the Top of Streaming…But For How Long?

The company sits comfortably at the helm of uploading video streaming, as its name is synonymous with videos. But TikTok, in its short existence, managed to grab the attention of the youth and millennial segment as YouTube got blighted with ads and an algorithm that pushes content in the face of its users in a manner that has received a major rejection. In contrast, TikTok’s way of pushing content you like by having you interact with the app gets better feedback, that’s one of the reasons why the Generation Z and Millennial segment chose to download TikTok over Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube in the 2018-2019 period.

Annoying ads aside, YouTube will implement in India a short-video feature called Reels that will try to grab the attention of that regional market after the TikTok ban. In India, TikTok was huge, the most popular app in the country that got the boot as it got stuck in the middle of a political tug of war in the border with China.

Innovate in the Era of Streaming

YouTube is forced to innovate and try to grab the attention of the public as many influential content creators flee the platform: Just recently, podcast superstar Joe Rogan signed a million-dollar contract with a rival Swedish streaming platform for his podcast “The Joe Rogan Experience,” which used to host on YouTube

YouTube’s long-running format and style have made it a key player in the entertainment business, as now the platform offers premium subscriptions to channels worldwide, catering to audiences of different tastes. Still, YouTube has a long way to go in regards to competition with the streaming giants of the likes of Netflix, Spotify, Hulu, Funimation, Prime Video, and Crunchyroll, who offer thousands of options and titles on-demand at competitive prices.

India’s Orphan TikTok Market

Youtube designed a short-form video experience for creators that want to share teasers and short bits of information to which they can add music, timers, and other features that the banned app developed by ByteDance used to offer. And if copying an idea isn’t enough, the control gestures for YouTube’s new feature are essentially the same as TikTok’s.

India’s orphan TikTok market has many startups and tech companies wanting to grab the attention of a public that really enjoyed the app. YouTube’s shot at it will be available only for the Android format, in the beginning, as they develop it further with use, YouTube will consider bringing this same experience to the iOS.

Alberto Zambrano
32, Millennial from Venezuela with a focus on tech, medicine and geopolitics