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Beta version of TikTok rival YouTube Shorts arrives in U.S.

Instead of having its own dedicated app, YouTube Shorts can instead be found in a Beta version via the regular YouTube mobile app. File Photo by Pixelkult/Pixabay
Instead of having its own dedicated app, YouTube Shorts can instead be found in a Beta version via the regular YouTube mobile app. File Photo by Pixelkult/Pixabay

March 18 (UPI) -- Streaming giant YouTube on Thursday introduced its short-form video platform in the United States, as a direct competitor to Chinese-owned TikTok.

The company expanded Beta testing for the platform, called YouTube Shorts, to include U.S. users. Previously, YouTube tested the new service only in India.

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Google-owned YouTube said in a blog post Thursday that the expansion process into the United States would occur over the next few weeks.

"With our Shorts Beta in India, we had foundational creation tools, like a multi-segment camera to string multiple video clips together, the ability to record music, control speed settings, and more," Todd Sherman, YouTube product lead for Shorts, wrote.

"And today we're adding more features, like the ability to add text to specific points in your video. You'll also be able to sample audio from other Shorts so you can remix it into your own creation."

Sherman told CNN Business the goal with Shorts is to remove obstacles to creating videos, as many popular channels on YouTube produce videos with expensive equipment and editing software.

"YouTube made it so that a whole generation of people using cameras and computers and video editing software could practice their craft and build an audience," Sherman added. "That story is very similar to the story of what we're doing with Shorts once again, except now it's all based on the phone and what you can get done inside of a phone."

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YouTube said an expanded audio feature for Shorts will roll out in coming months.

Unlike TikTok, Shorts does not have a reply feature or its own dedicated app. Instead, it appears on the home tab of the regular YouTube app.

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