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What Happened: YouTube Shorts player beta testing will be expanded to the U.S. in the coming weeks, Neal Mohan, YouTube's chief product officer said in the post.
Shorts is the mobile tool for shooting short videos that was launched in India by YouTube in September 2020. Its video creation tool — the Shorts camera — makes it easy to create videos that are up to 15 seconds long with the option to capture multiple clips.
The rollout of YouTube Shorts in the U.S. starts in March, giving mobile creators new tools and resources, the blog post read.
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The app is now seeing a resurgence in the U.S. after prospects of a potential ban in the U.S. was hanging like a Damocles' sword over TikTok for most of 2020 due to ex-U.S. President Donald Trump's antagonistic stance.
A motion filed last week by a Justice Department lawyer in a Federal appeals case brought about by the Trump administration suggested the Biden administration has begun a review and may not pursue an immediate ban.
Big brands are returning to the ByteDance-owned app, with client spending expected to increase significantly over the next six months, Reuters reported, citing Erica Patrick, vice president and director of social media at Mediahub Worldwide.
It remains to be seen how YouTube shorts will make inroads into a market that is well penetrated by TikTok.
India Long On Shorts: Shorts is currently available in beta in India. Since December, the number of Indian channels using Shorts creation tools has more than tripled, and the YouTube Shorts player is now receiving more than 3.5 billion daily views globally, Mohan said in the post.
This is unsurprising, given the blanket ban imposed by the Indian government on several Chinese apps, including taking the hugely popular TikTok offline, thereby creating an opportunity for other players.
Facebook, Inc. Common Stock (NASDAQ: FB) jumped on this opportunity ahead of Google by launching Instagram Reels in August 2020.
Other YouTube Initiatives: Also announced was a new add-on option to YouTube TV allowing viewers to watch available shows in 4K, or download them to a DVR to watch later offline. It will add unlimited concurrent streams at home.
Mohan noted YouTube TV now has more than 3 million paid subscribers, 85 plus networks and offers unlimited DVR.
The company also revealed new parental controls for its YouTube Kids channel, including an option allowing parents to add specific videos and channels from the main YouTube platform.
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