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Alphabet's YouTube to launch TikTok-like product

FILE PHOTO: YouTube signage is seen at their offices in King's Cross, London, Britain, September 11, 2020. REUTERS/Toby Melville

(Reuters) - Alphabet Inc’s YouTube is rolling out its version of social media rival TikTok, a new short-form video service called Shorts, enabled within its video-sharing platform.

YouTube will first test the feature in India over the next few days and then expand to more countries in the coming months, it said in a blog post on Monday. (bit.ly/3ho1q36)

YouTube’s new product, which will compete with Facebook Inc’s Reels and TikTok, will let users record short mobile-friendly vertical videos and then add special effects and soundtracks pulled from a music library.

The announcement also comes as Oracle Corp and China’s ByteDance team up to keep TikTok operating in the United States, beating Microsoft Corp in a deal structured as a partnership rather than an outright sale.

YouTube’s entry into the short-form video service space coincides with TikTok’s ban in one of its biggest market, India, following the country’s escalating tensions with China.

Reporting by Akanksha Rana in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli and Amy Caren Daniel

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