YouTube preps TikTok rival Shorts for US launch in March

YouTube has confirmed that it will roll out the beta version of its TikTok-rivalling short-form video service in the US next month.

Announced in a blog post outlining upcoming plans for the company, YouTube’s chief product officer Neal Mohan said that the short-form video tool, which is already available in India, will be expanded Stateside from March.

He wrote: “Currently, Shorts is available in beta in India. Since the beginning of 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. In the coming weeks, we’ll begin expanding the beta to the US, unlocking our tools to even more creators so they can get started with Shorts.”

Mohan also said that YouTube will launch a redesign of its VR app later this year, with the new-look player featuring improved navigation, accessibility and search functionality.

The exec added that its US cord-cutting service YouTube TV now has more than 3 million paid subscribers. YouTube TV will add support for 4K content in the coming months, along with the ability to download shows and movies stored in the cloud DVR for offline viewing via a more expensive tier. This currently unpriced option will also add unlimited concurrent streams.

Of YouTube Kids, Mohan said that the app is used by over 35 million viewers across more than 80 countries. He said that the app will add new parental tools “including a highly-requested option that lets parents add specific videos and channels from the main YouTube platform to their children’s viewing choices on YouTube Kids.”

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