YouTube to launch short video service in the US to take on TikTok

Alphabet’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL ) Inc’s YouTube is launching a short video service on its platform in the United States as it seeks to better compete with rival TikTok in a hugely popular category.

The service, Shorts, allows users to record mobile-friendly vertical videos that can be supplemented with special effects and soundtracks pulled from a music library.

“Starting today and over the next several weeks, we will gradually expand our beta version of Shorts to the United States,” YouTube said in a blog post on Thursday, adding that it would bring more new features to the service, such as the ability to add text at specific points in the video.

YouTube launched the feature in India in September last year, after TikTok was banned in one of its biggest markets. Shorts currently has more than 6.5 billion daily views worldwide, YouTube said.

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