YouTube Shorts, A Response To TikTok, Sets U.S. Beta Launch In March

YouTube is bringing the beta version of a short-form video service to the U.S. in March.

That news and other tidbits came in a blog post by chief product officer Neal Mohan, in the first installment of a new, behind-the-scenes series about technology and product development at the video operation.

Shorts, which is now in beta in India, has seen the number of Indian channels using its creation tools triple since December, the company said. The YouTube Shorts player now gets more than 3.5 billion daily views globally.

“Every year, increasing numbers of people come to YouTube to launch their own channel,” Mohan wrote in the post. “But we know there’s still a huge amount of people who find the bar for creation too high. That’s why we’re working on Shorts, our new short-form video tool that lets creators and artists shoot snappy videos with nothing but their mobile phones.”

Previewing other 2021 initiatives, Mohan also said streaming bundle YouTube TV will introduce a new add-on package featuring 4K resolution, offline viewing and unlimited concurrent streams. Executives at Google said last year that YouTube TV has surpassed 3 million subscribers in the U.S., ranking it second among internet-delivered pay-TV services after Hulu.

YouTube Kids, Mohan revealed, now has more than 35 million weekly viewers. The company is rolling out a new option enabling parents to add videos and channels from YouTube into their children’s viewing options on YouTube Kids. YouTube has faced criticism in the past over its algorithms guiding under-age viewers to inappropriate content, but executives have vowed to fix the problem.

The “chapters” feature, introduced last year, aims to help viewers navigate their way through videos. Mohan said creators have added chapters to more than 20,000 videos a day.

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