YouTube shorts are gaining popularity as an alternative to TikTok. Now, videos downloaded from YouTube Shorts for sharing elsewhere will feature a prominent watermark, just like TikTok.
Putting the watermark on the uploaded videos is one of the ways these platforms try to encourage loyalty to the platform. After all, it’s in a creator’s interest to share their content across multiple platforms, right? To discourage this, TikTok has long added a TikTok watermark to all videos shared elsewhere online. Instagram soon followed suit with Reels, and now YouTube Shorts is the latest to join the boring watermark squad.
“If you’re a creator who downloads your shorts from YouTube Studio to share on other platforms, you’ll now find a watermark added to your downloaded content,” reads the announcement from a YouTube support page for the creators. “We’ve added a watermark to shorts you’ve uploaded so your viewers can see that content you share across multiple platforms is on YouTube Shorts.”
At this time, it is unknown what the YouTube Shorts watermark will look like. TikTok has an animated music note that flickers across the screen to make it harder to hide. Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts want to be aggressive about spreading their branding since TikTok became the default for short video content.
Instagram even went so far as to exclude short videos with another platform’s watermark from its “Discover” page. In April 2022, Instagram went even further, saying its algorithm would have a preference for “original content” without a competing watermark.
YouTube Shorts was launched in 2020 as a competitor to TikTok’s dominance in the short video segment. YouTube has set aside $100 million to pay creators who use the platform and create more short video content for others to watch. The company says the new watermark will begin rolling out in the next few weeks to desktop and later expand to mobile.