YouTube Shorts comes to the U.S., Amazon starts testing electric delivery vans in San Francisco, and new data suggests the impact of Google Play’s recent changes. This is your Daily Crunch for March 18, 2021.
The big story: YouTube’s TikTok rival launches in the U.S.
The YouTube Shorts product allows users to record, edit and share videos of 60 seconds or less, accompanied by licensed music from a variety of industry partners. The company has been testing the feature in India while making Shorts viewable internationally — but until today, U.S. viewers couldn’t create short videos of their own.
Sarah Perez took an in-depth look at the Shorts experience, noting that it’s pretty similar to TikTok while lacking some key features, such as intelligent sound syncing.
The tech giants
Amazon begins testing its Rivian electric delivery vans in San Francisco — This makes S.F. the second of 16 total cities that Amazon expects to bring its Rivian-sourced EVs to in 2021.
Data shows how few Google Play developers will pay the higher 30% commission after policy change — As regular Daily Crunch readers will remember, Google recently announced that it’s cutting the commissions it charges developers on Google Play.
Twitter begins testing a way to watch YouTube videos from the home timeline on iOS. Shortly after Twitter announced it would start testing a better way to display images on its app, it’s now doing the same for YouTube videos.
Startups, funding, and venture capital
Substack faces backlash over the writers it supports with significant advances — The startup has lured some of its most high-profile (and controversial) writers with sizable payments.
Homebrew backs Higo’s effort to become the ‘Venmo for B2B payments’ in LatAm — Rodolfo Corcuera, Juan José Fernández, and Daniel Tamayo founded the company. In; January 2020, recognizing that the process of paying vendors for business owners is largely “manual and cumbersome.”