What You Need to Know About YouTube's Newest Addition: YouTube Shorts

Carissa Tan
Digital Marketing Intern
July 22, 2021
min read
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First launched in Fall 2020 in India, then March of 2021 in the US, this new YouTube feature is now available in over 100 countries. Now what is YouTube Shorts exactly? And what is all this hype around it really about?

Let us break it down for you.

What exactly is YouTube Shorts?

As the name implies, YouTube Shorts is a short form video content creation feature that now allows YouTube creators to create videos that are between 15-60s long. 

It can be found at the bottom of the screen or there is a section in the homepage titled “Shorts beta”. Uploading a YouTube short is exactly the same as how you would upload a YouTube video - all videos uploaded that are below 60s will automatically be categorized as a Short. Recording a Short on the other hand is largely similar to that of TikTok as well, where a more in-depth tutorial on how to record a short can be found here.

YouTube Shorts vs TikTok vs Instagram Reels

Rivalling their competitors TikTok and Instagram Reels, this now poses the question as to who is better? Pros and cons? Similarities and differences? We got it all covered.

1. User interface

Starting with the look of it, YouTube Shorts’ interface is largely similar to that of TikTok as seen in the pictures below with a vertical video positioning.

Left: TikTok interface | Right: YouTube Shorts interface

The main difference is in the placement of the profile picture as well as the ability to dislike videos in YouTube Shorts. Clicking on the bottom right corner where the music is playing will also bring you to a collection of videos using the same sound, similar to TikTok.

2. Video length

To date, the maximum video lengths of each platform are as follows:

TikTok: 3 minutes

IG Reels: 30 seconds

YouTube Shorts: 60 seconds

The thing to note about YouTube shorts is that there is a maximum video recording length of 15s when you choose to record a video using original audio from other videos or using music from YouTube’s library.

3. In-app editing features

For easier reference, we have summarised some of the major in-app editing feature differences across the 3 platforms in the table below.


The YouTube Shorts player has now surpassed 6.5billion daily views globally and it is only expected to grow even more. Though TikTok is still the global leader in terms of short video content, platforms like YouTube Shorts is quickly catching up and it may only be a matter of time before the OG video sharing platform overtakes the scene.

As such it is apt for brands to hop onto this YouTube Shorts train and use it as another avenue for their influencer marketing campaigns. If you’re looking for YouTube influencers for your next influencer marketing campaign, sign up for a FREE demo with us now to be introduced to a wide variety of influencers suited for your brand.

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