Video content is dominating the social media space more than ever before. Content creators, businesses, and influencers are now more conscious of the power of video, and how to use it to their advantage. The question is no longer whether marketers should invest in video marketing. Instead, the dilemma is what is the best platform to host video content on. Most social media platforms now offer video-sharing capabilities, but today we will be looking at TikTok vs. YouTube.
Since its launch in 2005, YouTube has dominated the video-sharing space, with over two billion monthly users and an expanding community of creators with large viewership and followers. However, in 2017, TikTok entered the fray. With over a billion users already, they’re gradually asserting their dominance in the social media space.
With such an incredible growth rate, you might wonder. Is TikTok giving YouTube a run for its money? Which platform is better for businesses and viewers in 2022? Now that the YouTube vs. TikTok debate is heating up. If you’re a small business and don’t have the time or resources to create video content for both platforms, you may find yourself torn between the two. This article has everything you need to know about both platforms and may ease your decision.
We’ll start by analyzing the features of each platform. Then we’ll dig deep into the similarities between YouTube and TikTok and the features that set them apart. We’ll also take a quick look at compelling statistics, target audience, and advertising on both platforms.
Let’s get to it.
TikTok is a short-form video-sharing and social networking service created by ByteDance in 2017. The platform, formerly known as Musical.ly, hosts a wide variety of bite-sized videos ranging from 15 seconds to three minutes. Originally, Musical.ly made its debut as a music and lip sync app for making funny and entertaining videos. Now, TikTok offers a broader selection of songs and sound effects, and video-sharing features.
Users aren’t limited to music, comedy, or short, entertaining skits. You’ll find videos from other genres like dance, fashion, food, education, business, etc. One of the app’s standout features is the ability to add videos from your mobile device and customize them with background music, stickers, and filters. They can also share their videos and get likes, comments, and reactions from the TikTok community. The react feature lets users record their reactions to videos, add music, filters, effects, and music and share it with their audiences.
Although TikTok is mainly used to create more passive content, top brands use it to increase brand awareness. The platform presents brands with a wealth of new opportunities to showcase their brand and engage their audience.
The results? TikTok has enjoyed tremendous growth in the last couple of years.
People love what TikTok brings to the party, and even the statistics show they are killing it. Here are some essential TikTok statistics you want to note. According to Business of Apps, TikTok has about a billion users worldwide. This includes Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok.
Image credits: Sensor Tower
Sensor Tower revealed that TikTok has over 2 billion downloads worldwide across Google PlayStore and App Store. In the first quarter of 2020, TikTok generated the highest download for any app ever in a single quarter, with over 315 million installs on both Android and iOS.
According to Statista, visitors spend an average of 858 minutes on TikTok daily. It’s no surprise, as bite-sized videos served on the platform create an immersive experience and nudge users to binge more content.
Much like other major social platforms, TikTok commands a large population of teens and young adults. According to the Global Web Index analysis, 41% of TikTok users are 16 to 24 years old. Why is the younger generation addicted to it? One primary reason why TikTok appeals to Gen Zs is that it transcends beyond being a social platform, and it’s become a creative hub for just anyone.
The platform features and viral trends create an appetite for young people to get in on the action and unleash their inner creativity. What’s more? The videos are short but raw, authentic, energetic, and deeply engaging. You don’t even need to post videos or follow anyone to view their content.
Although younger audiences (Gen Zs) dominate TikTok, older millennials aren’t entirely left out. About 31% of TikTok audiences in the US are 40 and above.
With its growing user base, TikTok provides brands with access to a large global audience. TikTok has millions of users in more than 150 countries across the globe.
Based on geographical distribution, the majority of the users are from India, closely followed by China. Recent studies show the US is leading the charts in terms of engagements and daily usage, followed by the UK and France.
The numbers we’ve shared above suggest TikTok has its sights set on reaching a wider audience. The platform offers creative and budget-friendly ways to enable brands to hold audience attention and deliver superb engagements. However, the minimum age limit for using TikTok is 13 years old. Plus, the numbers show that the bulk of the audience spans across GenZ and younger millennials. That’s because it showcases the fun side of things while valuable brand information is being passed.
So if you’re looking to reach younger audiences below 50, then TikTok is the place to be.
When it comes to TikTok watch time, a report from App Annie shows users now spend more time binging videos than YouTube users (every month.) The report reveals that in June 2021, users spent 24 hours watching content, while YouTube users spent about 22 hours and 40 minutes. What’s responsible for this jump in watch time and audience engagement? TikTok’s content loop makes popular videos go viral and amass more views.
When people watch videos repeatedly, TikTok increases its rating and shows it to more people. This positive feedback creates a loop that makes the video viral and incites viewers to watch it multiple times.
YouTube is an online video-sharing platform owned by Google. With over 2 billion monthly users, YouTube ranks as the second most visited website in the world. YouTube allows creators, businesses, and users to upload video content and share them with people globally. Over the years, the platform has enjoyed continued dominance and growth due to several factors, including
With over 500 hours of content uploaded every minute, you’ll have virtually every piece of information you need. The platform features a wide range of content, including news, politics, entertainment, science, medicine, etc.
Unlike TikTok, which favors shorter videos, YouTube focuses on longer videos. By default, users can upload videos up to 15 minutes long, while verified accounts can upload videos longer than 15 minutes.
With the recent introduction of YouTube TV, Music, and a host of other features, it’s clear that YouTube’s golden age isn’t over just yet.
Beyond its core services, the platform continues to expand into other markets and more options for users. Overall, users get to enjoy a more inclusive entertainment experience that spans beyond user-generated content.
YouTube for Business offers a massive opportunity for brands to reach a wider audience, boost engagement and build their brand. Not only that, businesses can monetize their content as they grow their subscriber base.
Although TikTok represents a novel means of creative expression, YouTube also shows no signs of slowing down. The newly introduced YouTube Shorts provide the short-form video experience and directly emulate TikTok features and video format. Creators can entertain viewers and brands with short videos of about 60 seconds or less.
YouTube statistics show they are doing things right in the video-sharing niche. The platform has enjoyed a tremendous and unparalleled growth rate. In the last three years, the number of YouTube channels with more than one billion views has increased five times.
According to a 2020 industry report by Social Media Examiners, 55% of marketers use YouTube, making it the most popular video marketing channel. People watch over a billion hours of video daily, generating billions of views.
Marketers recognize YouTube as a goldmine. That’s why YouTube remains the most popularly used platform for video marketers. About 87% of video marketers use the platform for their business, and another 89% of brands plan to invest more in YouTube.
The future looks bright for YouTube. According to eMarketer, the number of YouTube viewers in the United States will reach 228.1 million by 2024.
Concerning the YouTube shorts vs. TikTok showdown, stats show that YouTube is fast catching up in the short video niche. YouTube launched a beta version of Shorts in India around September 2014. Before its launch in the United States in March 2021, YouTube Shorts exceeded 6.5 billion daily views globally. By July 2021, YouTube Shorts had surpassed the 15 billion daily average views in over 100 countries worldwide.
Compared to TikTok, YouTube caters to a wider demography. According to Pew Research Center, a whopping 85% of teens use YouTube.
YouTube is the most used platform among US adults, with about 81% having an active presence. The study further reveals that only about 21% of US adults use TikTok.
Additionally, a large majority of adults below 65 say they use YouTube activity. Actively, 95% of Americans aged 18 to 29 use YouTube, along with 91% of those aged 30 to 49 and 83% of those aged 50 to 64. But, this number drops significantly to 49% among adults who are 65 and older.
YouTube has localized versions in over 100 countries and 80 languages worldwide. India has the highest number of users, estimated at 227 million, followed by the US with 127 million users.
YouTube’s wide variety of content makes it more appealing to a diverse audience. The platform is suitable for users who are at least 13.
In 2020, kids in the UK spent about 75 minutes on YouTube. The numbers went up to 86 minutes in the US. About 80% of teens aged 13-17 (Gen Z teens) say YouTube has helped them learn more about something. Think with Google further reveals that 70% of Millennials (age 21-36) visit YouTube to discover new things. Interestingly, Baby Boomers aren’t left out either. Seventy-eight percent of baby boomers (born 1946 and 1964) visit YouTube to get help or learn something new.
Overall, YouTube audiences include kids, teens, young adults, or seniors. So if your business is targeting these audiences, YouTube has everything you need to grow.
The introduction of YouTube shorts enables brands to appeal to younger audiences with trendy sounds, effects, and features that inspire creativity.
YouTube is slightly behind TikTok in terms of how much time UK and US users spend watching videos. However, YouTube has a higher overall watch time since it has a larger user base than TikTok.
With the advent of other viral platforms, YouTube emphasizes time watched and viewer satisfaction rather than views. Recently the platform has changed its search algorithm and content feedback loop to rank videos based on how long users have watched the video and how much they loved it.
YouTube’s AI increases the amount of time people spend online using smart recommendation algorithms. These algorithms track and measure users’ previous viewing habits, likes, shares, and comments to find and recommend other videos they’d love.
By helping users find videos they’d watch and enjoy, YouTube can keep users on the platform longer.
Content creators can now measure video metrics like Estimated Time Watched. This algorithm update has helped improve the overall content quality and engagements rate on YouTube. The goal is to nudge creators to make great content that encourages viewers to stick around.
So how do you improve overall content quality and drive engagement? An excellent place to start is by using an online video maker that offers a massive catalog of creative assets and supports you need to power your content marketing strategy.
TikTok and YouTube support social interactions between users all over the world. Businesses, marketers, influencers, and brands aren’t left out. YouTube and TikTok offer valuable features to help drive their business to the next level. Let’s take a deeper look into the difference between TikTok and YouTube in driving social connectivity and assisting companies in thriving.
The stats don’t lie. YouTube is valuable for driving traffic, audience engagements, and revenue. Businesses of all sizes say they’ll continue to make the most of YouTube. What’s more? YouTube audiences can’t just get enough video content from brands.
With over two billion users, you can reach a broader target audience and market your product and services. By creating engaging videos, you can achieve top ranking, establish brand recognition and authority.
The beautiful thing about YouTube is that it supports active content marketing with a clear call to action. You can ask your audiences to subscribe to your channel, watch other videos, leave comments, visit your website or social media pages.
Another excellent reason to use YouTube for business is that it supports a ton of business goals. Whether you’re looking to create brand awareness, acquire leads, drive conversions, educate viewers or provide support, YouTube has got you covered. Since the platform offers more flexibility with tone and seriousness, marketers can switch from fun to salesy content to drive sales.
That’s not all. Since the platform supports longer videos, you can:
Over the years, brands like Nike, GoPro, Redbull have leveraged YouTube to power their video marketing strategy and build their brand.
For example, Nike’s viral campaign “You Can’t Stop Us Now” celebrates sports as a source of motivation and a medium for driving positive change. The campaign has garnered over 45 million views on Nike’s official YouTube channel and another 40 million on Twitter.
YouTube Shorts also serve the need for short yet interesting content like FAQs, product announcements, opinions, etc. Much like TikTok, they empower brands with creative tools to make bite-sized videos that wow audiences. To top it off, with the YouTube Partner Program, content creators, brands and influencers can make money off their content.
With our YouTube video maker, creating YouTube videos can be more accessible than ever. Promo has over 110+ million videos, and photos, with an easy-to-use video maker created for everyone to enjoy – regardless of your video editing skills. With Promo, you can create professional YouTube intro and outro clips, ads, business videos, and more quickly and effectively.
Depending on your business goal, you can create YouTube ads using different formats, including:
Here’s why you should create YouTube ads for your business.
YouTube attracts broader audiences with different interests from news, sports, fashion, entertainment, education, etc. By advertising your business on YouTube, you’re sure to reach the viewers who matter most.
YouTube offers different ways of targeting your audience, including:
Businesses can reach niche-specific audiences based on who they are, what interests them, and the type of content they love.
YouTube’s Find My Audience feature offers a deeper understanding of your prospects – their habits, interest, purchase behaviors, and more. You can leverage these valuable insights to improve your ads and get better results.
YouTube stats show advertising on YouTube holds immense benefits for businesses. YouTube adverts are 84% more likely to get audience attention than TV advertising. Whether you’re looking to create awareness or drive conversions, YouTube ads can help you reach your goal.
YouTube offers real-time insights into your ad performance. By understanding how people respond to your video ads, you’ll know where to make adjustments and drive better results.
The TikTok user base is soaring at an unprecedented rate. So businesses have a tremendous opportunity to reach a large and growing audience. Although the videos are short, they tend to draw viewers in and endear people to your brand. You don’t need big budgets to create captivating and engaging content.
However, the platform seems to appeal more to a younger audience and shorter videos.
What does this mean for your businesses? If you have a younger customer base, TikTok is your best bet. TikTok is also suitable for creating passive content where viewers aren’t required to take any specific action. Interestingly, younger viewers aren’t on the lookout for ads. They just want fun and exciting content. That’s why TikTok is great for creating brand awareness with short videos that get the word out.
To increase your content’s impact, align it with existing trends, viral challenges, and more. By doing that, you’ll entertain your audience, build brand recognition and market your product. For example, Chipotle introduced the #GuacDance challenge in 2019, accompanied by Dr. Jean’s Guacamole song. The challenge generated record-breaking video submissions and sales.
As a result, Chipotle saw a record 800,000 unit increase in Guacamole orders. It also became one of TikTok’s best-performing challenges in the US, receiving more than 250,000 video submissions and 430 million views in six days.
Overall, YouTube offers a broader reach and more options for businesses to market their business.
But if you’re looking to create brand awareness or appeal to a younger target audience, TikTok is an excellent place to start. Top brands like Chipotle, Nike, and Pepsi are already using it to their advantage.
Beyond uploading videos to your channels or working with influencers, TikTok advertising is an effective way to market your brand. Since the platform thrives on fast interactions in an easy-going atmosphere, you can reach an audience that’s excited to connect with you.
TikTok for business offers different ad types to help brands expand their reach, including:
Here’s what TikTok ads bring to the table
With over a billion users from 150 markets and counting, you can reach a large community of users and drive traffic to your business.
TikTok Ad Managers allow users to access a wide range of apps. These apps (TikTok, Babe, TopBuzz, Buzzvideo) span multiple verticals, including news, entertainment, etc.
TikTok ads let you target audiences based on age, gender, interest, and other variables. In addition, you can access different ad formats that best suit your audience and campaign objectives, such as vertical, horizontal, square images, or videos.
TikTok Ads Manager offers detailed data and custom reports to help you track your ad performance. With TikTok pixel, you can measure marketing results by monitoring users’ behavior and conversions on your page.
While TikTok represents a budding market for brands, their most extensive user base represents a small audience. Plus, Brands may need to adjust their content strategy to fit into TikTok’s niche content type.
On the other hand, YouTube caters to a more diverse demographic. And businesses can host a wide variety of content, including fun, news, sports, etc.
TikTok leverages the power of AI to serve users with content that appeals to them. TikTok’s algorithm ranks videos and recommends them to viewers based on a combination of several variables.
When new users visit the app, TikTok collects information and gradually adjusts content based on their interests and what they aren’t interested in.
It doesn’t stop there. The algorithm goes on to track:
The algorithm uses these factors to curate their “For You” feed and recommend unique content. By sharing content tailored to users’ interests, TikTok allows users to enjoy a continuous cycle of videos.
And when videos perform well in terms of watch time, rewatch, likes, comments, shares, and hashtags, the video will rank higher, appear to more people, and go viral.
TikTok favors more casual videos than formal ones. So you’ll mostly find humorous, musical, dance, cooking videos, tutorials, how-tos and lip-sync videos, etc.
TikTok is a place for sharing short and exciting video content about 10 to 15 seconds long. This format has been a significant growth driver, setting them apart from the competition. However, the platform has recently extended the maximum video length from 60 seconds to three minutes.
TikTok’s algorithm favors interactions in many ways. First, it serves your content to users who’ll find it interesting and most likely engage with it. This means you don’t have to build followership to go viral on TikTok. Once people repeatedly watch and engage with your video, TikTok marks it as good content and shows it to more people, leading to increased watch time and higher engagement.
Before 2012, the YouTube algorithm favored videos that attracted more views and clicks. This led to a massive flood of content with annoying clickbait, with misleading titles and thumbnails. Content quality and user experience plunged since creators were optimizing content for clicks.
In 2012, YouTube optimized its recommendation system to favor video watch time or overall time spent on the platform. So creators switched to shorter videos to improve overall watch time and increase video ranking.
However, you’ll agree time spent isn’t an accurate measure of quality and viewer satisfaction. So in 2015, YouTube changed its algorithm to rank videos based on user satisfaction.YouTube now uses a combination of signals like surveys and engagement metrics such as likes, dislikes, and the “Not Interested” button to measure viewer satisfaction. The recommendation system then delivers the most relevant videos based on video performance, user feedback, and past activity on YouTube.
YouTube supports a broader range of content options than TikTok. You’ll find business, social, serious, casual videos spanning different industries, geographical regions, languages, niches, and more. Some of the most popular videos on YouTube include commentaries, product reviews, tutorials, comedy, reactions, etc.
YouTube supports videos of about 12 hours for verified accounts and 15 minutes for unverified accounts. Overall, the optimal length for a YouTube video is 10 minutes. However, depending on the type of content you’re making, videos between 5 and 15 minutes do well. They can help you get your message across without boring your audience.
YouTube’s algorithm recommends relevant and personalized videos to their viewers on different sections of the tool, including:
YouTube offers a selection of videos users are more likely to watch based on their interactions and engagement with similar content. These interactions include comments, likes, subscriptions, past videos viewed, etc.
Here are some of the striking similarities between YouTube and TikTok:
Here are some of the features that set both YouTube and TikTok apart.
TikTok: TikTok is famous for short bursts of videos with a maximum length of three minutes.
YouTube: YouTube has longer and more in-depth content with a maximum length of 15 minutes for unverified accounts and 2 hours for verified accounts.
TikTok: Over a billion monthly users.
YouTube: More than 2 billion monthly users.
TikTok: TikTok favors fun, unserious and trendy content types such as musicals, dance, sports, humorous videos, and lip-sync challenges.
YouTube: YouTube has a rich blend of different content types ranging from business to social to serious to casual.
TikTok: TikTok favors fun, unserious and trendy content types such as musicals, dance, sports, humorous videos, and lip-sync challenges.
YouTube: YouTube has a rich blend of different content types ranging from business to social to serious to casual.
TikTok: With TikTok for business, marketers can create varying ad types, including:
YouTube for Business offers different ad types and formats, including:
TikTok: TikTok has a direct messaging feature.
YouTube: No direct messaging feature.
TikTok: TikTok is well-suited for younger audiences (Gen Zs and Younger Millennials).
YouTube: YouTube has a more diverse audience of Kids, GenZs, Millennials, and Baby Boomers.
TikTok: Creators don’t earn money based on ad revenue. Instead, TikTok rewards creators based on a combination of factors, including:
YouTube: Content creators can monetize their content and get paid based on shared ad revenue.
TikTok: TikTok relies on third-party platforms to track ad conversions, impressions, users’ in-app actions, and click attribution.
YouTube: YouTube offers advanced tools to enable marketers to track ad performance. Users can also leverage third-party tracking tools to measure their YouTube campaign.
TikTok allows users to create shorter videos up to 3 minutes long, while YouTube videos can be as long as 15 minutes for unverified accounts and two hours long for verified accounts. Another significant difference between both platforms is that TikTok allows users to save videos to their local devices. YouTube doesn’t support downloads to local devices.
According to TikTok, more than a billion people use the platform globally every month.
As of 2020, TikTok topped the charts as the most downloaded app worldwide. It has also surpassed YouTube in terms of average viewing time in the US and UK. However, YouTube is still ahead of TikTok regarding the number of viewers and overall watch time. Every day people watch a billion hours of video on YouTube.
In addition, TikTok is more prevalent among younger audiences while YouTube caters to a broader audience of both kids, adults, and the elderly.
Now that we’ve highlighted the similarities and differences between YouTube and TikTok, one question might still be running through your mind.
What’s the best platform for business in 2022?
As you can see, there’s no doubt YouTube and TikTok can help you drive your business to the next level. However, the most suitable platform for you depends on your target audience, your marketing goals, and the type of videos you want to make.
If you’re looking to target young millennials or Gen Z audiences, then TikTok is a perfect fit. But if you’re targeting a more diverse audience made up of both the young and old, then YouTube should be a crucial part of your marketing mix.
YouTube is excellent for creating brand awareness, acquiring leads, and increasing conversions. On the flip side, TikTok is suitable for creating a buzz about your brand, products, trends, or social activities.
Whether you’re sold on creating a YouTube or TikTok video, Promo.com has everything you need to boost your online presence on both platforms. Once you discover how easy-to-use it is, you might not even have to choose.
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