Short, concise video snippets in almost incessant succession. That’s the principle behind TikTok. The video portal from the Chinese company ByteDance is the hit par excellence, especially among teenagers and young adults.
Hardly any other app has been able to grow as quickly as TikTok in recent years. After all, the portal satisfies the need for fast and varied entertainment – without going into too much depth.
YouTube Clones TikTok
For the top dogs in the video streaming business, TikTok was a wake-up call. And so it came to a development that is actually rather unusual. Western companies copied the Chinese system. Among them: the Alphabet (GOOG) subsidiary YouTube.
Just last year, the U.S. tech company launched its own TikTok clone, YouTube Shorts. The principle works similarly to that of the Chinese: short videos, not even a minute long – then scroll down and watch the next one.
Just a few months ago, some observers considered the Google Group’s short video offensive to be hackneyed and not very promising. After all, TikTok was already the high-reach original. So why use “YouTube Shorts” at all?
Is “YouTube Shorts” Now Bigger Than TikTok?
But now YouTube has put its critics in their place. The social media company recently published the latest user figures for the “Shorts” service – and they are impressive. According to the figures, YouTube Shorts now has 1.5 billion monthly active users.
This means that the “Shorts” clone could possibly already be bigger than the original TikTok. The Chinese last published the figure of one billion monthly active users in September 2021. It is clear that TikTok’s user base has also grown considerably in the meantime. However, whether this growth was sufficient to defend the top position on the short video market is certainly questionable.
But Why Is “YouTube Shorts” So Successful?
Analogous to the videos shown there, the answer is quite simple. “YouTube Shorts” benefits directly from YouTube’s reach. For example, the social media company had integrated the short video service directly into its parent portal.
Both in the web version and in the app, “Shorts” is prominently featured and can be reached via a single click. So the roughly two billion YouTube users already in existence caused the “Shorts” service to grow rapidly.
According to a representative survey published by Statista, around 45% of YouTube users had already said in July 2021 that they wanted to use the short video portal. Looking at the current user figures, this willingness is likely to have increased significantly again in the meantime.
In addition, “YouTube Shorts” was equipped with a monetization feature right from the start. This allows influencers to earn money directly from their short videos via advertising. This attracted a number of well-known YouTube celebrities – along with their millions of followers.
My Conclusion For You
There were quite a few people who saw the hype surrounding TikTok as a swan song for YouTube. But the U.S. company refused to admit defeat and simply introduced the Chinese company’s lucrative concept to its own platform – and apparently with great success.
This is of course good news for YouTube and Alphabet, especially in these troubled times. The fact that the Google parent company can rely on its flagship YouTube strengthens the growth story of the tech giant. After all, with advertising revenue of just under $6.9 billion (Q1 2022), the video portal is Alphabet’s main drawing card alongside its core Google product.
Of course, the success of “YouTube Shorts” alone should not be enough to revive the currently stumbling Alphabet share. External circumstances such as the tighter monetary policy of the U.S. Federal Reserve and the general pessimism of tech shareholders are currently too devastating. For a small glimmer of hope, however, “YouTube Shorts” is certainly enough.