YouTube shorts begins rolling out to users in the United States through the YouTube Android app. The feature, which has been available for months to users in India, is comparable to the short form video content you can find on TikTok.
The videos are usually around a minute long and offer a basic feature set similar to those offered by TikTok. Originally, the feature launched for users in India in mid-December last year. The popularity of it seems to have prompted YouTube to now extend the availability of short films to more users in other regions. Starting with the United States.
Plans to launch the feature for US users in March was announced in mid-February. But at the time, no date was mentioned.
US users will have access to YouTube Shorts in beta
At present, the deployment in the United States of the Shorts function is in beta. So it’s not a full rollout and that probably means not everyone has access to it at the moment.
The shorts will be displayed in your feed when you launch the app and appear to be a bit lower in the feed once you start scrolling. They will be listed in a carousel-style interface, allowing you to scroll by swiping left or right. Unlike standard videos, they don’t have the ability to automatically play content.
However, you have some interactivity with them after clicking on the short film. With the ability to leave comments, send likes, dislikes, and share content with others outside of YouTube.
Recommendations seem to be based on what you’re already watching
Unsurprisingly, the shorts that appear in your feed after launching the YouTube app seem to be based on the content you’re already consuming.
Not necessarily the same channels you are already watching full videos. But short films that are similar in terms of subjects. Like food, games, etc. Although some also seem to be just general recommendations that all users receive.
If you don’t see Shorts in your feed yet, it might not have been uploaded to your app yet. It’s unclear if Google originally intended to roll out the feature in early March. But a good majority of users should already be able to see and play with it.