From status updates to photo-sharing, we're always finding new social media trends to fill up the hours of our days; and right now, it's short-form videos.
Starting with Vine in 2013, short-video platforms have become a hallmark in the online world. Whether you're on TikTok, Instagram Reels, Triller, or YouTube Shorts, short-video apps have changed how we consume and create content today.
With so many to choose from, we've listed down some of the most popular short-video platforms – all with varying features and uses.
If you aren't on TikTok yet then it's about time you hop on. Arguably one of today's most popular social media apps, TikTok has become the platform for short-video content. Equipped with an endless feed of videos to scroll through, anyone can easily spend hours and hours on the app.
TikTok was first launched in China in 2017 as Douyin before making it all over the world as 'TikTok' in 2018 after having merged with another short-video platform Musica.ly. Since then, TikTok has amassed millions of users all across the globe and became a hotspot for dance trends, popular music, and hilarious memes.
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TikTok has given way to a new generation of online creators. The app features a video creation interface that allows creators to film bite-sized videos and add in music, sounds, and AR effects. For users, the app's most notable feature is For You, an infinite feed of videos suggested by an algorithm that seems to know exactly what you would like to watch.
A platform for long-form videos and hours of binge-watching no more, YouTube has launched its first short-form video feature. Following their recent addition, Stories, the video-sharing platform just launched Shorts for "anyone who wants to create short, catchy videos using nothing but their mobile phones".
YouTube has always been home to user-created videos since the early days of the Internet, so a short-form video feature comes as no surprise. The platform first launched a trial run for Shorts in India in September 2020 and has since accumulated over 6.5 billion daily views. Shorts is now gradually being rolled out globally, with the latest beta run happening in the US.
Centered around three basic principles – create, get discovered, and watch, Shorts features an array of creative tools to help creators make exciting, new content. Users can find Shorts on their YouTube homepage on the mobile app and on desktop, similar to regular videos recommended by YouTube.
If you weren't already mindlessly scrolling through Instagram, Reels is here to change that.
The photo-sharing app's latest video feature finally launched last August 2020, after an almost year-long test run in Brazil. Specifically designed for bite-sized content, Reels allows users to record, edit and share 15-second videos with music, sounds, and video effects. The video feature includes an innovative editing interface and tools that help creators produce creative and appealing content.
Much like previous content on Instagram, Reels can then be viewed and shared through Instagram's Explore page. Reels is currently available in over 50 countries including Japan, India, the US, Australia, and more.
Similar to the beginnings of TikTok, Triller is a music-rooted short-video app where users can post video content singing or dancing to a popular track.
However, unlike TikTok which has grown to house various types of short-form videos, Triller is all about music. Reportedly backed by musical acts like Snoop Dogg, The Weeknd, and Migos and owned by Proxima Media Sony Music, Warner Music, Universal Music, and more, Triller focuses on a specific group of users – music fans.
Triller offers a wide range of creative tools for creators to create and unique content. More notably, the app features an AI-based editing tool that automatically edits users' videos. It also allows a full song to be used in a video, allowing creators to make videos that go up to 3 minutes.
Snapchat is the latest app to join the world of short-video platforms. Launched late last year, Spotlight is the social networking app's newest feature which showcases users' viral videos, also known as snaps. Similar to TikTok's For You page, Spotlight showcases a random selection of videos to users based on various factors like user interests, watch time, the number of shares, and more.
The new feature sits alongside Snapchat's existing items like Map, Discover, Camera, and Chat.
Users can submit their snaps to Spotlight which then goes through a moderated selection process based on an algorithm. If accepted, the snaps are then shown to the app's global audience. In order to help boost the new feature, Snapchat has launched a daily fund of USD 1 million for creators who create the top snaps on Spotlight.