Silicon Valley

YouTube Unveils TikTok Competitor, Simply Called Shorts

Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

While tech titans Oracle and Microsoft on Monday jockeyed to be the U.S. partner for the popular Chinese video-sharing app TikTok, a Silicon Valley-based video giant quietly unveiled a competitor app: YouTube Shorts.

San Bruno-based YouTube, owned by Google parent Alphabet Inc., announced the development of the short-form video app on its company blog Monday morning in a post authored by Chris Jaffe, vice president of Product Management.

According to Jaffe's post, YouTube Shorts are "a new way to express yourself in 15 seconds or less," using nothing but a mobile phone. The new app emphasizes and optimizes three ideas already made popular by YouTube: being creative, getting discovered and watching entertaining videos.

An early beta version of Shorts is launching in India this week, and the company promises to continue adding more features and expanding to more countries as user feedback rolls in, the blog says.

Earlier Monday, the owner of TikTok chose Redwood City-based Oracle to be its U.S. tech partner.

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