YouTube tests TikTok rival in India

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – YouTube on Monday began testing a TikTok rival in India, saying it would refine its short video format and roll it out in more countries in coming months.

YouTube Shorts made its debut as TikTok pursues a partnership with Oracle that it hopes will spare it from being shut-down in the United States (US) by President Donald Trump.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Monday confirmed a bid from Oracle concerning TikTok’s American operations after the video-sharing app’s parent ByteDance rejected a proposal from Microsoft.

But it remained unclear whether the venture would pass muster with Washington regulators.

“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 vice president of product management Chris Jaffe said in a blog.

YouTube logos on a computer screen in Beijing. PHOTO: AFP

“Over the next few days in India, we’re launching an early beta of Shorts with a handful of new creation tools to test this out.”

YouTube Shorts videos are limited to 15 seconds, according to the Google-owned platform used by some two billion people worldwide.

Jaffe noted that Shorts will be modified based on user feedback before being made more broadly available.

TikTok’s brand of brief, quirky videos made on users’ cellphones has grown hugely popular.