YouTube Shorts arrives in the US to take on TikTok

The beta is still half-baked

YouTube Shorts, the company’s short-form answer to TikTok, is launching in beta in the United States starting today. The short video format has already been available for several months in India, but today marks its debut stateside (along with the addition of several new features).

For the beta launch, YouTube Shorts will feature all the basics of any TikTok clone: a multi-segment camera that makes it easy for creators to quickly string together clips, a wide selection of music tracks (with catalogs from “over 250 labels and publishers”), and a robust-looking captioning tool, the last of which is debuting alongside the US launch. “We really want to create a playground of creativity here where we give creators the raw materials to produce great videos,” says Todd Sherman, YouTube’s product lead for Shorts.

Like TikTok, users will be able to swipe through an endless, algorithmically generated feed of short videos, subscribe to their favorite creators, explore specific hashtags or sounds,