YouTube Shorts are growing in popularity as a TikTok alternative. Now videos downloaded from YouTube Shorts to share elsewhere will feature a prominent watermark – just like TikTok.
Putting the watermark on downloaded videos is one way these platforms try to encourage platform loyalty. After all, it’s in a creator’s best interest to share their content on multiple platforms, right? To discourage this, TikTok has long added a TikTok watermark to any videos that are shared elsewhere online. Instagram soon followed suit with Reels, and now YouTube Shorts is the latest to join the annoying watermark crew.
“If you’re a creator who downloads your Shorts from YouTube Studio to share across other platforms, you’ll now find a watermark added to your downloaded content,” the announcement from a YouTube support page for creators reads. “We’ve added a watermark to the Shorts you downloaded so your viewers can see that the content you’re sharing across platforms can be found on YouTube Shorts.”
Right now, it’s unclear what the YouTube Shorts watermark will look like. TikTok has an animated music note that flickers around the screen to make it harder to hide. Both Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts want to be aggressive about putting their branding out there since TikTok has become the default for short-form video content.
Instagram has even gone so far as to exclude short-form videos featuring another platform’s watermark from its ‘Discover’ page. In April 2022, Instagram went even further saying that its algorithm would have a preference for ‘original content’ featuring no competitor watermark.
YouTube Shorts launched in 2020 as a competitor to TikTok’s domination in the short-form video segment. YouTube has set aside $100 million to pay creators who use the platform and create more short-form video content for others to watch. The company says the new watermark will begin rolling out in the coming weeks on desktop and will expand to mobile from there.