YouTube Shorts. An Alternative to TikTok?

by Anna Martynova | | Category: YouTube Marketing

Following Instagram’s release of Reels, YouTube has recently launched a new short-form video creator called YouTube Shorts. So how does it actually look and what’s the benefit of using Shorts compared to rapidly growing TikTok? Find out down below!

YouTube has officially launched Shorts in India: a new feature that feels decidedly similar to TikTok. But what is it exactly?

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What is YouTube Shorts?

Shorts are short videos (15 seconds or less) that can be created on mobile phones and uploaded directly on YouTube.

“Shorts is a new short-form video experience for creators and artists who want to shoot short, catchy videos using nothing but their mobile phones.”
YouTube Official Blog


What are the features of YouTube Shorts?

With YouTube Shorts a user can:

  • Create and upload vertical videos of 15-seconds or less
  • Edit videos with a number of creative tools
  • Stir multiply clips together
  • Add music from YouTube’s library
  • Speed up or slow down videos
  • Add timers and countdowns

Why I don’t see YouTube Shorts?

YouTube Shorts is available only to a small group of users in India who are using Android devices.

“We plan to bring the design to iOS and all locations globally in the future.”

YouTube Help

Why is YouTube Shorts available only in India?

There could be two main reasons why YouTube decided to launch the new feature in India:

  1. India is one of the countries with the highest percentage of mobile users
  2. TikTok was banned from India about two months ago

YouTube sees an opportunity to fight TikTok not only in India but also in other countries such as the USA where Donald Trump is actively trying to shut down the app.

So this feature might be available in any country very soon. Actually, you can already create videos for the “shorts” feature, even if you are not an Indian creator. We will cover that a bit later in this article 🙂

How to create videos with YouTube Shorts?


If you have access to the Shorts camera, you’ll be able to start creating short vertical videos right on the YouTube app.

1.Tap the “+” sign

click create

2. Click “Create a Short”

create a short

3. Camera will open

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4. Choose the preferred settings. Speed up or slow down a video


5. Set a timer


6. Or add a soundtrack from the YouTube library

add music

7. To record tap and hold the capture button


8. Similar to TikTok, you will see a timeline filling up on top. After you film small clips, YouTube will merge them into one video


9. Save the video and add description and title just like you do it on YouTube


Are your subscribers notified when uploading a short?

Your subscribers will receive notifications about YouTube Shorts the same way they do for your video uploads today.

Note: Shorts do not currently show up in the Subscriptions feed but this should be coming soon.


Even in you are not in India and have access to this new tool, you can still get your videos to appear in the “shorts” section. Short Videos (under 60 Seconds) can appear in the section no matter if they were created with the new tool or not.

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Just add the hashtag #Shorts to your video title and description and you’ll have better chances of showing up in the Shorts shelf on the YouTube homepage. This means you can even upload your TikTok videos or Instagram Reels to YouTube.

Is youtube Shorts beneficial for creators?

Yes, it is! YouTube Shorts is a great way to get discovered as well as reach the existing YouTube Audience without the need to change the platform.

“Every month, 2 billion viewers come to YouTube to laugh, learn, and connect. Creators have built entire businesses on YouTube, and we want to enable the next generation of mobile creators to also grow a community on YouTube with Shorts.”

YouTube Official Blog

How does YouTube Shorts compare to TikTok and Instagram Reels?

YouTube Shorts is now being compared to the leading short-form video app TikTok. The similarities are obvious and undeniable but can we blame YouTube for trying to win over a market where TikTok is banned?

With possible future bans, there is an enormous audience of people searching for an alternative. Instagram tried to fulfill this demand by launching Reels.

Is Shorts just a TikTok clone? Although it looks similar, YouTube has a big advantage: numbers.

TikTok has 800 million monthly active users whereas Instagram has 1 billion monthly active users.

YouTube has a clear advantage: 2 billion users which is more than both TikTok and Instagram combined.

Moreover, there is a possibility to monetize the video creation process on YouTube. The monetization feature is still missing in TikTok and Instagram Reels which might attract more creators to Shorts.


Anna Martynova