YouTube, a Google-owned company, has announced a new “short-form video feature” platform called Shorts. Shorts is essentially Google’s attempt to compete with the popular app TikTok. YouTube released a statement declaring the app allows “social media creators to ‘shoot short, catchy videos using nothing but their mobile phones'” (Yurieff). YouTube plans to test the platform by releasing a beta version of the app in India. Earlier this year, TikTok was banned in the country due to a posed threat upon “sovereignty and integrity” (Yurieff). India has been looking for a replacement platform for TikTok for months, as the app was banned in late June.
I am very interested to see how Shorts develops over the next several months. We learned in class that google can have access to a lot of individual private information. I am curious if other countries will investigate how Shorts gathers data about their users, and how that information is used. However, since the platform is associated with YouTube, I believe more countries worldwide will have less suspicion about privacy violations as YouTube has been used universally since its creation in 2005. Likewise, I am interested to see if Google will implement some method of synching Shorts to YouTube. This may be a technique that Google uses to persuade current TikTok users to switch over to Shorts in the near future.
Overall, I believe Google is attempting to take advantage of TikTok’s controversy in order to develop a user base, especially by deciding to beta test in a country like India. It will be fascinating to watch how the country monitors this app during the early stages of beta testing; however, I do not believe a Google-owned platform will have as many issues as TikTok did with its parent company ByteDance.