YouTube Will Add Watermarks To Downloaded Shorts

YouTube Shorts Logo

YouTube is adding watermarks to downloaded Shorts videos. This is to discourage creators from posting Shorts on other platforms as original content. Many creators do that currently. They create a Short on YouTube and download it to post on other platforms such as TikTok and Instagram Reels. As such, they benefit from a single work on multiple platforms. Adding watermarks to Shorts will tell viewers that the content was originally created on YouTube and can be viewed on YouTube. The company hopes this will reduce cross-platform posting.

“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,” a YouTube Community Manager recently posted on an official support thread. This watermarking feature will first roll out on the desktop version of YouTube over the next few weeks. It’ll come to mobile apps in the coming months.

YouTube Shorts starts adding watermarks too

Short-form videos have become a social media sensation lately. Popularized by TikTok, we now have many other apps offering similar features, including some established names such as YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat. All of these companies are fighting for creators and viewers and don’t want videos created on their platform to be posted on a rival’s platform without credit. Watermarking videos is one of the ways to get credit as the source.


TikTok has long shown a watermark featuring its logo and the creator’s username on downloaded videos. Perhaps the Chinese app does this better than anyone else. Having the username already makes it easier for anyone to find the video on TikTok. Moreover, the watermark bounces around the video, so it’s harder to crop it out too. So a watermark will be there wherever you post the TikTok video.

Instagram, meanwhile, has gone about a somewhat different route to discourage cross-platform posting of short videos. While the Meta platform still allows users to download watermark-free draft Reels, it has a strong policy against users posting TikToks as Reels. The company says it will not promote Reels that have watermarks of other platforms. It will give preference to original content created on the platform. This will certainly reduce posting on TikToks on Instagram, and soon, Shorts too.

Considering all this, it’s no wonder that YouTube is adding watermarks to Shorts. But if you primarily use Shorts on your phone, you still have a few months to download videos without a YouTube watermark.