YouTube's Adding a Watermark to Your Shorts When They're Shared Across Other Platforms

YouTube launched its Shorts feature two years ago to keep up with the growing popularity of short video clips most notably made trendy by TikTok.

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YouTube is looking to get credited for the videos you create on its platform.
YouTube is looking to get credited for the videos you create on its platform.
Image: Patrick Semansky (AP)

If you’re thinking of downloading your YouTube shorts and posting them on another platform, then YouTube is getting ready to take credit. The video sharing platform announced new features for creators of shorts, including the addition of a watermark that will soon be stamped on the brief videos when they’re shared somewhere else.

“If you’re a creator who downloads your Shorts from YouTube Studio to share across other platforms, you’ll now find a watermark added to your downloaded content,” YouTube announced this week. “We’ve added a watermark to the Shorts you download so your viewers can see that the content you’re sharing across platforms can be found on YouTube Shorts.” The watermark will be rolling out over the next few weeks on desktop, and later expand to mobile over the next few months, according to YouTube.

YouTube is not the only platform that wants credit when video creators use its site. TikTok videos are also marked by a small logo, along with the video creator’s username that bounces from one corner to another on the screen when the clip is cross-posted, while Instagram reels come with a minimalist version of its famous camera logo with the username as well. Instagram has made it a point to encourage its users to create short videos using the reels feature rather than reposting TikTok videos, warning that it would not promote reels that have another platforms watermark floating around.

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YouTube Shorts were first launched in 2020 in India, before the platform released the new feature across the globe in July 2021 as a way to cash in on the growing popularity of TikTok’s format. YouTube shorts has scored a whopping 1.5 billion viewers per month, mainly due to the already established popularity of the video sharing website. Meanwhile, TikTok sees about 1 billion users each month.

A lot of TikTok’s success was largely owed to covid-19 lockdowns, with more people turning to the app to pass the time. But now, the platform has surpassed that phase in time, and is continuing to rack up numbers, even inspiring copycats to follow suit.