YouTube Adds Its TikTok-Like Shorts to TVs

YouTube is putting its vertical, mobile-first video format onto big, horizontal screens, an unusual way to watch them.

Joan E. Solsman Former Senior Reporter
Joan E. Solsman was CNET's senior media reporter, covering the intersection of entertainment and technology. She's reported from locations spanning from Disneyland to Serbian refugee camps, and she previously wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. She bikes to get almost everywhere and has been doored only once.
Expertise Streaming video, film, television and music; virtual, augmented and mixed reality; deep fakes and synthetic media; content moderation and misinformation online Credentials
  • Three Folio Eddie award wins: 2018 science & technology writing (Cartoon bunnies are hacking your brain), 2021 analysis (Deepfakes' election threat isn't what you'd think) and 2022 culture article (Apple's CODA Takes You Into an Inner World of Sign)
Joan E. Solsman
An image of a TV screen showing a Shorts-style video titled "Swinging."

YouTube is bring vertical-format short videos, what it calls Shorts, to television. 


YouTube is putting its Shorts -- its vertical, looping, short-form videos -- onto the biggest and most horizontal screen in your life: the TV

Google-owned YouTube, which has 2 billion monthly users, is the world's largest source of online video. With Shorts, Google's massive video site is trying to compete with the sensation around TikTok, the short-form social video app owned by Chinese company ByteDance. YouTube launched Shorts more than two years ago, starting in India and then widening it to the US and other countries. 

By bringing Shorts to TVs, YouTube is breaking the vertical, short-form format out from mobile devices, where these kinds of clips are shot, posted and most often watched. 

"When we introduced this new format, we optimized the experience for the mobile creator and viewer," Neal Mohan, YouTube's chief product officer, said in a post. While bringing Shorts to televisions may seem like a "natural next step, an incredible amount of thought and care has gone into bringing this vertical, mobile-first experience to the big screen," he added. 

On Monday, Google said that to watch Shorts this way, you'll need to use YouTube's app on a connected TV from 2019 and later, a gaming console or streaming device. YouTube even made a tutorial video about how Shorts appear on TVs and how to use your remote to watch and like them.