YouTube Will Now Automatically Add Watermarks to Downloaded Shorts Clips

This is interesting. YouTube is taking steps to stop users from re-posting YouTube Shorts clips to other apps, via the addition of new watermarks on Shorts clips.

As explained by YouTube:

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. We’ve added a watermark to the Shorts you download so your viewers can see that the content you’re sharing across platforms can be found on YouTube Shorts.”

Which could be good, I guess, in terms of cross-promotion. But with other apps also penalizing clips that include visible watermarks, the true intention would appear to be limiting short video sharing across apps, in order to make it a little harder for creators to simply re-post their Shorts to Reels or TikTok as well, as a means to build their presence in each app.

It’s worth noting both TikTok and Reels also include watermarks on downloaded clips, in an effort to restrict the same, so it’s not surprising to see YouTube take a similar approach. But still, it’s another consideration – and with the current process making it so easy to just re-post your short clips across each app, a sort of low-effort baiting procedure, to see what you can get as a result, it’s another strategic consideration for creators.

YouTube says that it will begin adding watermarks to Shorts downloaded on desktop from today, with an expansion to mobile coming soon.

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