YouTube rolled out YouTube Shorts globally in July 2021 in a bid to recreate the success—and borderline addictive nature—of TikTok. YouTube said today that YouTube shorts has clocked in 1.5 billion monthly users. That’s billion with a “b.” According to CNet, this number represents views from accounts that are logged-in, meaning that the figure could be much higher when factoring in viewers that are watching anonymously.
The number is absolutely massive, but it sort of makes sense considering YouTube Shorts has the support of the largest video sharing platform on the Internet behind it. What I’m really saying is that since YouTube Shorts is accessible on the YouTube app and website, it’s a no-brainer that traffic would be incredibly high, especially nearly a year after Shorts’ global roll out. YouTube Shorts’ viewership looks a bit more impressive than TikTok’s tally of monthly users: The app boasted reaching 1 billion users each month back in September.
The social media dash of the last ten years has left us with apps that are all an amalgamation of different features from their competitors. Instagram stole video sharing from the now-defunct Vine, while Facebook and Instagram stole SnapChat’s Stories feature, and now YouTube is stealing TikTok from TikTok. But YouTube is not the only social media platform trying to recreate the viral success of TikTok as Instagram launched “Reels” back in August 2020. Around this time, TikTok saw a huge increase in engagement thanks to the pandemic forcing us to stay at home with our phones in hand.
I for one, am not reflected in this monthly number since I personally go out of my way to avoid YouTube Shorts whenever possible, because as tempting as viewing a YouTube Short is, I’d rather just indulge in TikTok.