YouTube's TikTok Rival, Shorts, Eclipses 1.5 Billion Viewers a Month

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
YouTube logo on a phone screen
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What's happening

YouTube says its TikTok-rival Shorts are being viewed by more than 1.5 billion logged-in accounts monthly.

Why it matters

Plenty of legacy social media sites have been chasing the virality of TikTok; now YouTube can claim its Shorts have more users than the last number TikTok announced.

YouTube said Wednesday that Shorts -- the quick, vertical, looping videos competing with TikTok -- are being watched by 1.5 billion logged-in accounts a month. By comparison, TikTok said in September that more than 1 billion people use its app monthly, the latest figure it has released. 

The world's biggest online video source, YouTube as a whole gets more than 2 billion monthly users. (That figure, however, hasn't been updated in more than three years). 

With Shorts, Google's massive video site is trying to compete with the sensation around TikTok, the social video app owned by Chinese company Bytedance. It launched Shorts less than two years ago, starting in India and then widening it to the US and other countries. 

"What we've seen is that creators are getting really innovative with how they use these multiple formats on the platform," said Neal Mohan, YouTube's chief product officer, in a blog post. "While we're still at the beginning of our journey with Shorts, we know the product will continue to be an integral part of the YouTube experience moving forward."

On Wednesday, YouTube said that the growth in the Shorts audience has spurred "the rise of the multiformat creator" who produces material in different YouTube formats like Shorts, regular long-form videos, livestreams and audio.