YouTube is testing a new feature for users of its mobile app that lets them record short multi-segment videos lasting no longer than 15 seconds – just like TikTok.
It is currently only an experiment and no date has been set for when the feature will be made available for users of the Google-owned video sharing service.
The ‘short video’ feature will replace the ability to upload longer-form videos and will be available under the ‘create a video’ feature within the social video app.
Like TikTok, users will be able to tap and hold the record button to capture a short clip and then tap it again to add subsequent clips – creating a multi-segment video.
YouTube is testing a new feature for users of its mobile app that lets them record short multi-segment videos lasting no longer than 15 seconds – just like TikTok
Like TikTok, users will be able to tap and hold the record button to capture a short clip and then tap it again to add subsequent clips – creating a multi-segment video
‘We’re testing out a new way for creators to easily record multiple clips directly in the YouTube mobile app and upload as one video,’ Google wrote on a blog post.
This is the same way TikTok works – an app that has become one of the most downloaded and used mobile apps of 2020 with celebrities and influencers signing up to create short 15-60 second videos.
According to Google, those in the YouTube experiment will see an option to ‘create a video’ in the mobile upload flow.
‘Tap or hold the record button to record your first clip, then tap again or release the button to stop recording that clip,’ they wrote.
‘Repeat these steps until you’re done capturing footage up to a maximum length of 15 seconds and that is then uploaded to your YouTube account.
‘If you’d like to upload a longer video, you’ll still be able to do so by uploading from your phone gallery instead of recording through the app,’ said Google.
The experiments are available for Android and iOS but will only be available to a small number of YouTube users while the company gathers feedback.
YouTube product teams are constantly testing out new tools and features to help users find, watch, share and create content more easily, the company said.
These test features (sometimes also called ‘betas’ or ‘experiments’) are usually available for a short period of time and only for a small group of people.
‘If you ever notice that YouTube looks a bit different for you than it does for your friend or family member, you’re likely seeing one of these experiments.
‘Be sure to give YouTube feedback and report any potential technical issues – our teams use this information and experiment results to help us decide if, when, and how to release these features more broadly,’ a spokesperson said.
YouTube hasn’t given any other details on the short video test – including whether other TikTok like features could be introduced such as filters, effects or music.
YouTube product teams are constantly testing out new tools and features to help users find, watch, share and create content more easily, the company said
CHINESE SOCIAL VIDEO APP SPREAD GLOBALLY IN 2017
TikTok is a Chinese social media app where users can live stream, create short videos and music videos and Gifs with a host of functions.
TikTok’s tagline is ‘Make every second count’.
It was the most downloaded app in the US in 2018 and the world’s fourth most downloaded app in 2018, ahead of Instagram and Snapchat.
TikTok is known in China as Douyin where it was launched in 2016 and then made more widely available around the world in 2017.
Douyin is still the version of the app used in China, available to download separately to TikTok.
Last year, the app was merged with popular music video lip-syncing app Musical.ly, also with headquarters in China.
Most children use the app to film themselves lip-syncing to chart hits.
It offers users a raft if colourful modification and editing tools including overlaying music, sound, animated stickers, filters and augmented reality (AR) for creating short videos.
The Beijing based social network has more than 500 million active users and the company is now worth more than $75 billion (£58 billion).
These features are what made TikTok the popular app it is today – with a large number of videos made around music including lip syncing.
This isn’t the first time Google has set out to create a feature that is similar to something made popular by a rival firm – in 2017 it launched an alternative to Instagram Stories designed for more casual videos.
All firms do this – Instagram Stories is similar to the functionality of Snapchat stories and Instagram also has its own TikTok alternative called Reels.
The announcement about the new experiment comes as TikTok launches a business platform aimed at bringing advertisers and brands into the platform.
A YouTube spokesperson said this was just a number of experiments the firm has in the works for the social video platform.
Other ideas listed alongside this experiment include a new autoplay button for videos, updated video description section, new iOS icons and ‘video chapters’.
The mobiel chapter feature would ‘make it easier to navigate videos’ by allowing users to jump to or rewatch a portion of the video without scrolling.
‘Chapters appear at the bottom of the video player and use timestamps from the creator’s video description,’ a spokesperson said.
The company is also testing a feature that would move the comment section up on mobile to directly underneath the video so users have ‘less scrolling’ on mobile.
‘We’re always experimenting with ways to help people more easily find, watch, share and interact with the videos that matter most to them,’ a spokesperson said.
‘[Short videos] is one of many experiments we run all the time on YouTube, and we’ll consider rolling features out more broadly based on feedback on these experiments,’ they added.