In parallel with the ongoing story of the sale of TikTok, American companies are trying to come up with an alternative to the large social network from China. First, it was Reels from Instagram, now it’s YouTube time.
Google officially announced the addition of a feature called “Shorts” to the YouTube app. It’s already possible to make short videos in the app. But Shorts will offer additional video creation tools similar to those found on TikTok. The feature is currently only available in beta and only in India.
Users will be able to shoot videos up to 15 seconds long. You can easily edit the video: it is possible to join several clips together. YouTube will also offer its extensive library of licensed music to be able to use the “soundtrack”. A countdown will be available to users to fit their message.
In order to encourage users to use the new feature, YouTube will place a large button in the very center of the app’s navigation bar.
It is not yet known how much this function will be in demand. But YouTube has a much better chance of gaining a new audience. After all, this service became the first major media space for amateur videos.
YouTube notes that while the Shorts feature is in early beta, the company has agreed to release the add-on right now to get feedback from users. At the moment, the feature doesn’t provide all the functionalities available on TikTok, but that’s just the beginning.
China: We’d rather shut down TikTok than give it to the United States
In August, President Donald Trump signed an order banning TikTok from the United States. The only way the social network can work in the United States is the purchase of the Chinese application by an American company.
Since signing Trump’s order, TikTok has been in talks with firms like Microsoft. The US President ordered that the deal should be completed by September 20.
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Reuters reported on Friday that despite ongoing negotiations, officials in Beijing believe the forced sale would make both ByteDance and the Chinese government appear to be underdog opponents.
Sources told the agency that China is considering using technology export restrictions to delay any decision. TikTok, in turn, told Reuters that the company did not notice the pressure from Beijing.
When asked by reporters about TikTok and the upcoming ban, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Trump is abusing the concept of national security to oppress foreign companies.
In August, TikTok filed a lawsuit with the Trump administration, citing a lack of due process. Also a couple of days ago, rumors began to surface that ByteDance was in talks with the US government to avoid a full sale.
Despite alternative measures, ByteDance is still in talks with US companies for a sale. Some likely candidates include Oracle, or the Microsoft-Walmart partnership.