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YouTube Shorts beta will launch in the United States

YouTube’s TikTok competitor is currently available in India

YouTube is gearing up to launch a beta version, Shorts, in the United States beginning in March, chief product officer Neal Mohan announced today.

In a blog post announcing a number of features coming to YouTube in the coming months,  Neal Mohan said the YouTube team will be giving more creators access to Shorts in the United States. The YouTube team has seen success with Shorts in India, where the feature has existed for several months, according to Neal Mohan. 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,”.

It’s no surprise that YouTube is trying to get Shorts into the hands of creators and users as quickly as possible. By November 2020, TikTok was seeing continuous spikes in growth, tripling the user base it had in 2018. Like other companies, TikTok’s business was helped by the pandemic, giving people stuck at home the ability to engage with a never-ending stream of new, short videos and make their own.

In an effort to give people more control over parts of YouTube and how they watch videos, the company is rolling out a couple of product features that will directly impact what and how they watch. On the YouTube Kids app, the product team will offer new parental tools that will allow parents to add specific videos and channels from the main app, according to the blog. This will allow children to watch videos that parents think are acceptable but may not appear in the YouTube Kids app because of restrictions in place.

YouTube’s team is also expanding its “chapters” feature, which adds specific timestamps to videos. They’ll soon be automatically added to relevant videos that may require chapters (like lo-fi chillhop channels).