YouTube, the world’s leading online video sharing and social media platform, has announced that it will now automatically add watermarks to short clips downloaded from YouTube Shorts, the platform’s TikTok-like feature. This new arrangement means that creators will be unable to download their video and cross-post it to other apps without a YouTube watermark.
The YouTube community manager made the announcement yesterday in a support thread. “If you’re a creator who downloads Shorts from YouTube Studio to share on other platforms, a watermark has now been added to your downloaded content.” We’ve added a watermark to the Shorts you download so that your viewers know the content you’re sharing across platforms is available on YouTube Shorts,” part of the post can be found here.
“This will be available on desktop in the coming weeks, with plans to expand to mobile in the coming months,” she concluded.
However, the Google-owned platform, which is currently the second most visited website after Google Search, is to blame, as the company was slow to implement the feature. TikTok’s videos have had a watermark with the user’s name since its inception in 2016. If a viewer finds the downloaded video on another app, they will be directed to TikTok. Since TikTok is in tune with its users, the watermark will bounce around the screen if someone tries to crop it out.
Instagram CEO, Adam Mosseri explains, “If you create something from scratch, you should get more credit than if you reshare something you found from someone else.” We’re going to do more to try to value original content more than reposted content.”
However, content downloaded from Instagram Reels does not have a watermark at the moment, and the company has made no plans to add one anytime soon.