YouTube Shorts available across the MENA region

All those in the social media realm will have to add another short-form video platform to their repertoire. YouTube Shorts is now available across more than 100 countries globally, including many in the Middle East and North Africa region.

It looks to challenge the meteoric rise of TikTok, and YouTube is in a good position to move on it with the latter’s popularity in the region.

Make you own Shorts

Currently, YouTube Shorts is in beta (clearly visible with the label), so expect them to iron out issues before it’s deemed ready.

Creating a Short is as easy as tapping the “+” icon on the mobile app and then selecting “Create a Short”. Users will have access to additional features that include:

  • Add text to specific points in your video
  • Automatically add captions to your Short
  • Record up to 60 seconds with the Shorts camera
  • Add clips from your phone’s gallery to add to your recordings made with the Shorts camera
  • Add basic filters to colour correct your Shorts, with more effects to come in the future
Publishing to YouTube Shorts is similar to uploading a video

Users will also see a dedicated Shorts navigation tab in the YouTube app on iOS and Android. You can swipe up and down to to view different Shorts when viewing them.

Like a song/audio track you hear in a YouTube Shorts clip? You can click to find the full version of a song and the music video on YouTube.

You can easily search for music tracks when creating a Short

Another TikTok clone?

When Google first launched YouTube Shorts in September 2020, it started first with India. Well timed, especially when India banned TikTok and gave way to both Instagram and YouTube to fill the void.

According to Google, YouTube Shorts has already generated 6.5 billion daily views (based on the 26 markets part of their initial testing rollout).

Expect the number to go increase significantly with the addition of more markets spanning the Middle East and North Africa region. In the future, we can see monetization with ads or other options.

YouTube is already quite popular and also the second largest search engine. It make sense that they’d use their years of video content expertise to tackle the format popularized by TikTok. The biggest selling point is that Shorts is integrated into the wider YouTube ecosystem, especially allowing users to tap into the platform’s music library.

Wherever you are in the Middle East and North Africa region, try it out. You can also check out a Getting Started guide on their support page. Make sure you’ve updated the YouTube app on your iOS or Android smartphone.

P.S: In case you missed the news and you have young children but want to better manage what they watch, YouTube Kids is widely available across the region (including in Arabic)

Author: Yasser Masood

Think of me as a grassroots community evangelist. Juggling social media while covering technology/digital trends across the Middle East and crossroads of society and culture, while unearthing other perspectives that pique my interests.

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