YouTube is reportedly working on its own version of TikTok — an app called Shorts that is devoted to short-form and original user-generated videos, The Information reports.
TikTok is hard to duplicate, though, because of what TechCrunch calls “the content network effect,” meaning each new piece of content interacts with and increases the value of the rest of the content on the app.
This is done through TikTok’s focus on recontextualizing audio, memes, concepts, trends and videos, according to TechCrunch. Users are constantly interacting with one another’s content and becoming part of the larger content narrative on TikTok.
But Youtube has a shot at duplicating the app if Google lets users access the 5 billion videos people watch on YouTube, according to TechCrunch.
This isn’t the first time YouTube has imitated other platforms — the site also created its own version of Instagram stories, the Verge reported.
Shorts, which will reportedly be introduced by the end of 2020, will exist inside YouTube’s app so users don’t have to download another app on their devices, according to Business Insider.
YouTube has not yet announced whether Shorts is in development, telling CNET, “We don’t comment on rumor or speculation.”