[Johannesburg] 12 July 2021 – YouTube today announced the arrival, in South Africa, of the beta version of YouTube Shorts, the company’s new short-form video experience to create short, catchy videos from mobile phones. First announced in September 2020, YouTube has since expanded Shorts to 26 countries and will now be available across more than 100 countries around the world where YouTube is available.
While short-form videos were already viewable on the platform, users in South Africa will be able to access Shorts’ creation tools for the first time, which include a multi-segment camera to string multiple video clips together, the ability to record with music, control speed settings, and more.
Users will also have the ability to sample audio, not only from other Shorts but from videos all across YouTube — which includes billions of videos worldwide — unlocking a new playground of creativity like never before. This means that users can put their own creative spin on the content they love to watch on YouTube and help find it a new audience — whether it’s reacting to their favorite jokes, trying their hand at a creator’s latest recipe, or re-enacting comedic skits. Creators will be in control and will be able to opt-out if they don’t want their long-form video remixed.
In addition, and timed with the product’s international expansion, YouTube is bringing a new set of features to all existing and new markets allowing users to:
- Add text to specific points in your video
- Automatically add captions to your Short
- Record up to 60 seconds with the Shorts camera
- Add clips from your phone’s gallery to add to your recordings made with the Shorts camera
- Add basic filters to color correct your Shorts, with more effects to come in the future
“We want to make it easy and fun to create Shorts” said Todd Sherman, Global Product Manager for YouTube Shorts. “As we continue to build Shorts alongside our creators and artists, we’ll be adding more features for users to try”, he added.
When it comes to music, artists and creators will have a large library of songs to use in their Shorts from over 250 labels and publishers around the world, including Universal Music Group’s labels and publishing companies, Sony Music Entertainment and Sony Music Publishing, Warner Music Group and Warner Chappell Music, Believe, Merlin, Because Music, Beggars and, Kobalt.
Delivering a seamless viewing experience across YouTube
Helping people find Shorts to enjoy and creators get discovered is also a key component of the product experience. That is why even before announcing the creation tools, YouTube introduced a dedicated row on the homepage especially for Shorts, launched a new watch experience that lets you easily swipe vertically from one video to the next, and have added a Shorts tab on mobile that makes it easier for users to watch Shorts with a single tap.
As of today, the YouTube Shorts player has surpassed 6.5 billion daily views globally.
Shorts will be integrated into the YouTube experience users already know and love. For example, if a user hears a snippet of a song on Shorts, they can easily find the full song, watch the music video, or learn more about the artist — all on YouTube.
Supporting mobile creators
YouTube has helped an entire generation of creators turn their creativity into businesses and become the next generation of media companies. Over the last three years, the company has paid more than $30 billion to creators, artists, and media companies.
With Shorts being a new way to watch and create on YouTube, the company has been looking at various ways to monetize Shorts and reward creators for their content, including the recently announced YouTube Shorts Fund, a $100M fund distributed over the course of 2021-2022.
“We know that it will take us time to get this right, and we’re just getting started. We can’t wait for you to try Shorts and help us build a first-class, short-form video experience right on YouTube” Sherman said.
The Shorts beta will be available to everybody in South Africa by Wednesday, July 14th.
Launched in May 2005, YouTube is the world’s most popular online video community allowing billions of people to discover, watch and share video. YouTube provides a forum for people to connect, inform and inspire others across the globe and acts as a distribution platform for original content creators and advertisers large and small. YouTube is a Google company. For more information, visit our Google Africa Blog: google-africa.blogspot.com. You can also follow Google’s Africa team on Twitter: twitter.com/googleafrica.