Online video-sharing platform YouTube has announced its plan to launch a feature similar to TikTok in India, where the video sharing app is banned.
YouTube announced Shorts, its new TikTok-like short-form video feature, whose early beta version will be launched in India over the next few days. The Google-owned company said Shorts will be made available to other countries in the coming months with additional functionality.
According to YouTube, the new tool will allow social media creators to “shoot short, catchy videos using nothing but their mobile phones.”
It will offer features currently available on TikTok, including a way to string multiple video clips together, add music, and use a timer and countdown to record videos hands-free.
The decision to launch the feature in India is timely as the country’s government decided to ban TikTok and several other popular Chinese apps in June, arguing that they pose a “threat to sovereignty and integrity.”
As a result of the ban, Indian TikTokers are desperately looking for an alternative to the banned app.
Last month, Facebook-owned Instagram launched its own TikTok rival, Reels. Following the launch, shares of Facebook surged by over 6% on Thursday.
This pushed upward the wealth of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who currently holds a 13% stake in the company, reaching $100 billion.
Oracle’s partnership with Bytedance for TikTok US
YouTube’s announcement also comes at the heels of a partnership formed by tech firm Oracle and TikTok-owner Bytedance for the video sharing app’s operations in the US.
Oracle confirmed that Bytedance has formally proposed a partnership over the US operations of TikTok.
While full details of the partnership between Oracle and Bytedance have not been disclosed, it is aimed at avoiding President Donald Trump’s threat to close down the US services of TikTok.
Last month, President Trump expressed that he welcomes the idea of Oracle buying out the US operations of Chinese-owned video sharing platform TikTok.
Trump said Oracle would be “a great company” to take over the operations of TikTok in the US, following reports that Oracle is a possible buyer of the Chinese social media app’s business in North America, Australia and New Zealand.
Trump made the comments during a speech in Yuma, Arizona after he learned of reports that Oracle was working on an offer for some TikTok assets with a group of ByteDance’s investors.
Oracle is collaborating with a group of US venture capital companies that have a stake in TikTok, the source says. According to a report from The Financial Times, General Atlantic and Sequoia Capital as reportedly two of the investors working with Oracle.
Carolina Milanesi from the Silicon Valley-based research firm Creative Strategies commented: “While I can see the upside for Oracle from a cloud perspective, it is hard not to think how much of this deal rests on politics rather than tech.”
Oracle chairman Larry Ellison is a known supporter of Trump who hosted a fundraising event for his campaign in February at his private golf course and estate in California.