Back in the ’80s, someone said “Video killed the radio star.” That particular video was the start of a cultural phenomenon. Forty-some-odd years later, video is still at the forefront of a couple of other cultural phenomena in the forms of TikTok and YouTube. Yet, is there a preference when it’s TikTok vs YouTube, or are both enjoyed?
In 2022 social media is king, and video dominates social media. From Fortune 500 companies to food trucks, to junior high after-school clubs, people are using video to tell their stories and promote their products. And most are using TikTok and/or YouTube.
So the question of “should you be using them” is obvious, but for you, which one wins out when it’s TikTok vs YouTube?
YouTube was first beginning in 2005, and except for a few attempts from competitors along the way they have been the absolute leader in the field. Today they have over two billion monthly users and their name has become a verb.
But TikTok came along in 2017, and already has over a billion users themselves and is growing at a supersonic rate. Do they have the legs to overtake YouTube? Time will tell, but neither platform is going away anytime soon.
Let’s dig into each platform and figure out which one is best for you.
TikTok is a short-form video sharing and social networking service that hosts a wide variety of short videos from a few seconds to three minutes.
The site was originally called Musical.ly and was used primarily for fun. Users used music and lip-sync technology to make short funny and entertaining videos. Over the years the selection of songs and sound effects and video-sharing features has grown, which has added to the site’s popularity.
Before long, other kinds of content started popping up. Food, fashion, dances, and even business-related videos started to populate the platform. And while it is used mainly to create content shared between friends, top brands started to notice and use it to increase brand awareness. Content creators, influencers, and bloggers weren’t far behind.
For those wanting to connect with a younger audience, TikTok is where you want to be. 60% of users are between 16-24 years old. But like most social media trends, older folks aren’t far behind. Recent trends show the app is gradually aging up, with about 31% of the audience now 40 and above.
Another attractive aspect of TikTok is that users don’t just use it, they LOVE it. The average user opens the app 8 times a day and spends an incredible 95 minutes per day on the platform. That’s saying a ton in the age of short attention spans.
If imitation really is the sincerest form of flattery, then TikTok is blushing bright red. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even YouTube are among the giants that have adjusted their own formats or even created new ones to compete with the hot up & comer.
YouTube is an online video-sharing platform, that has grown to become the second most visited website on the planet, way ahead of Facebook and behind only Google.com.
The platform was already popular and growing in 2006. But that year, Google bought the platform for what seemed like an exorbitant 1.65 billion dollars. The site exploded from there and today is estimated to be worth at least 160 billion dollars.
YouTube’s continued growth is due to several factors including its ease of use, its massive user base, and the wide variety and volume of content. It’s hard to get your head around, but there are over 500 hours of content uploaded to the site…every minute. Music, news, politics, and any and every topic finds itself on YouTube.
While TikTok features short videos, YouTube focuses on longer videos. Up to 15 minutes for all users, and even longer for verified accounts.
YouTube continues to expand on its original focus of just videos. With the introduction in recent years of YouTube TV, YouTube Music, and more, it’s obvious that the platform is not slowing down.
Using its parent company’s resources, YouTube for Business is another opportunity for brands to reach a bigger audience, boost their engagement, and build their brand. It also helps businesses, big and small, monetize their content as their subscriber base grows.
In the demographics discussion, compared to TikTok, YouTube reaches a much wider audience. TikTok is big with kids, but 85% of teens also use YouTube. And it is the most used platform among adults in the U.S., with about 81% being active on the site.
YouTube really has a mass appeal, as its audience includes kids, teens, and young adults. Even many seniors are comfortable using the site.
As you can see there are many similarities and some differences between the platforms when compared. The bottom line is that they are both cultural and economic monsters. Plus, they both continue to grow with no signs of slowing down. And when comparing TikTok vs YouTube, both might come out on top for some and not for others.
A quick trial run of both sites should help you see which one you are more comfortable with. You can proceed from there.