Short-form video is no more just for millennials. In fact, it’s now the most popular form of online video across platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Also because, users are getting more short-form video content from social media platforms than ever before. Instagram is prioritizing Reels, YouTube is prioritizing YouTube Shorts and Google is prioritizing video content in its search results.
And while there are still some people who prefer watching long-form videos, short-form video is quickly becoming the preferred format for brands looking to reach consumers on social media.
So what makes short-form video so appealing? For starters, it’s easy to produce, especially compared to traditional commercials. You don’t need expensive equipment or a large budget to make a compelling short-form video.
Plus, because short-form videos tend to be less than a few minutes long, they’re easier to consume than longer ones for users. This means that they’re ideal for sharing via social media channels where people have shorter attention spans. But, here comes the question: which of all the social media channels is better?
This post will compare and contrast TikTok and YouTube Shorts platforms for short videos, which are also the two most popular platforms for short-form content, based on monthly viewers. We’ll look at and compare features and benefits of each platform. We’ll also look at how these two platforms can help your business grow.
What Are Short Videos?
Short videos are those that last less than 60 seconds.
Several factors, including the proliferation of mobile devices, the growth of internet connectivity, and the shift toward shorter attention spans, have fueled the rise of short-form video.
As such, short-form video offers marketers a way to capture audiences’ attention and keep it. But how do you choose between YouTube and TikTok for your brand’s content marketing efforts? Which one gives the best results? Both platforms offer different advantages and disadvantages, each with its unique set of pros and cons.
What are the 4 most popular types of short videos?
The most common type of short video is the “How To” video. These types of videos show people how to do something new or exciting. For example, if you want to learn how to bake cupcakes, you could create a How-To video showing quick step-by-step instructions on how to bake them.
The second most common type of short video is music videos. In fact, some of the biggest stars have made their names through music videos uploaded on social media. Some famous examples include Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, Katy Perry, Beyoncé, Rihanna, and many more. Nowadays, we could also include videos such as dancing ballets or music lip sync in this category, as they are becoming more and more popular.
The third most common type of short film is comedy shorts. This includes any video with the purpose of making the viewer laugh. It ranges from teenager influencers, to world-renowned comedians such as Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Kevin Hart, John Oliver and more, who become household names because of their comedic skills.
The fourth most common type of short film is sports shorts. Usually there are made by the fans or the official pages of sports clubs to promote content, but also Sports stars such as LeBron James, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar Jr., and many more who have gained fame through their athletic abilities make occasional use of this form of content, which noticeably always gets more engaged than their photo content.
What is the role of TikTok?
There are many video-sharing websites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. But when it comes to short videos,, one stands out above the rest: TikTok! (Of course, this was before Youtube Shorts were added to the game…you will find out later why).
Tiktok is a video-sharing social media platform where users are obsessed with making short videos. Even after TikTok’s updates to increase video length to 10 minutes, the platform is still ruled by short form videos, as they get the best engagement. The videos are usually funny, entertaining, and sometimes even educational.
TikTok was founded in 2016 by the Chinese company ByteDance. In 2017, it became the second-largest mobile app in China after WhatsApp. Nowadays, TikTok is available on Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Blackberry, and Tizen.
The app became extremely popular at the end of 2019 and excelled during the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.
And it has more than 800 million daily active users.
TikTok is known was known for being focused exclusively on short-form content, and the massive popularity that TikTok reached in just a few years, led to shift toward short-form content also from other social media platforms.
How Youtube Shorts comes into the Play?
YouTube Shorts was globally released in 2021, with no doubt of being a copycat of the tremendously successful TikTok.
And as a result, YouTube shorts and TikTok have a lot of similarities. Both apps have similar features like adding filters, editing videos, etc.
However, there are also some differences between these two apps, where YouTube Shorts have now the upper hand!
Let’s see what makes YouTube Shorts better than TikTok!
YouTube Shorts are more fun than Tiktok, on average. Some people also claim that the YouTube algorithm is more effective at suggesting relevant and fun content.
Simple to Use
Compared to TikTok, YouTube shorts require a smaller learning curve. You don’t need to know how to edit your video and add special effects.
Unlike TikTok, YouTube shorts don’t show ads. So you won’t get distracted by annoying advertisements while watching videos. Even though, we believe this will soon change…
No need to register
If you want to post your videos on TikTok, you need to register yourself first. On the other hand, YouTube shorts do not require registration, basically all you need is a Google account. Also to watch, you need an account. If you don’t, TikTok will prompt you to create one. On the other hand, you can browse YouTube without being logged in.
Let’s see the similarities and differences between both.
Similarities and Differences
Before checking similarities and differences in detail, let’s check their main features first.
- Video Length: Up to 60 Seconds
- Aspect Ratio: 9:16
- Description / Video Caption: The video title is right where the TikTok caption is, but users have to click on the three dots to see what the video is about.
- Placement of Analytics: YouTube Studio
- Dislike Button: Yes, it's available
Here are the similarities,
- Both Tiktok and Youtube Shorts are short-form video content creation platforms.
- Both apps enable the users to add music from their respective audio libraries, and they can view those videos under their audio library.
- When we consider analytics, both apps have access to criteria such as likes, comments, shares, impressions, watch time, and reach. Also, users can access these analytics on desktop and mobile.
- When viewing the Shorts or TikTok feed, the user is engaged in the content thanks to a full-screen mode with the interaction menu on the right.
- The feeds of both users scroll the same way. There are endless videos available for users to view and discover. However, the auto-scroll feature is not available on TikTok. Users must scroll manually to see the next video.
- Both offer tools to help creators make money through their content creation.
- Subscribers and followers count can be accessed directly from both feeds.
- Both allow creators to adjust the speed of their video content.
- Both platforms can be customized with overlaying and closed captions.
- Both allow creators with setting up a video that is public or private.
And here are the Differences,
- Both platforms have different monetization options. Shorts offer their ‘Shorts Fund,’ while TikTok offers Shoutouts as well as Digital Gifts.
- Shorts are limited to 60 seconds, while TikTok can last up to three minutes. However, it could be extended to 10 minutes as per their latest upate.
- TikTok lets users add video captions to the TikTok bottom left, while YouTube users can also add a short video title to Shorts. This is located in the exact same place as a TikTok description. But on YouTube, a video description can only be viewed by clicking the three dots next to the link button and clicking ‘Description.’
- YouTube’s music library is vast, and users have access to a lot more songs than what is available on TikTok.
- YouTube Shorts offer filters that alter the video’s brightness, tone, temperature, and other parameters.
- The ‘private’ video option in Shorts allows creators to select or decide who views your video. TikTok’s private video option allows only the creator to see the video. YouTube also has unlisted option.
- The TikTok app will enable you to view TikTok analytics. YouTube Studio can also display YouTube Shorts analytics, but the YouTube app has limited options.
YouTube Shorts lacks these TikTok's features
There are three worth mentioning features, that YouTube Shorts do not have compared to TikTok.
- Users can use the stitch and duet function to add videos from other creators to their accounts.
- A Q&A feature allows creators to ask questions and receive answers via video. Creators have the option to reply to comments.
- The discovery tab lets users view video by trending filters like music, effects, and hashtags.
TikTok lacks these YouTube Shorts' features
And what about the other way around? Find out what features TikTik does not have, that YouTube does.
- A scheduling tool assists creators with scheduling when their Shorts will go live.
- The possibility to choose whether your videos are suitable for children or not. You can also restrict your videos to viewers below 18.
- Editing the video after its publication.
- The option to “unlist” your Shorts so anyone can see them with just a link.
YouTube Shorts Vs. TikTok - Which One is Better? our verdict
Both platforms have different strengths and weaknesses. But as you can see, both YouTube and TikTok can do amazing things for your business and help you reach your ideal audience, also thanks to their suggestion algorithm.
But, which one is best? it really depends on what you need from your videos.
YouTube Shorts might be the right choice if you want to engage your followers and eventually drive views to your longer videos, which usually also make much more money from Ads.
Hence, YouTube is also better for making money with your channel, eventually.
As for the editing options, though, we believe TikTok has more effective filters and overlay solutions, but on the other has YouTube allows has more options: editing after publishing, larger music library, unlisted option and more.
TikTok is perfect for sharing quick videos and producing fun/comedy type of videos. It also seems easier to go viral with the right form of content. After all, YouTube is still a platform that goes beyond just Short-form content.
Another factor worth considering, TikTok is an excellent choice if you want to reach out to younger people. But if you also want to reach older people, YouTube might be a better choice.
But whether you want to reach young or older people, YouTube and TikTok can help you grow your business in meaningful ways. So, deciding which platform is best for your needs is the only thing left, but, why not re-purposing your videos on both platforms?
You can also hire editors who will do that for you, and it will likely be worth it in the long run!
P.s. Stay tuned, as we are doing a test on the matter, by uploading exactly the same content on both platforms, and see which ones bring us better results. We are using different niche’s and channels to have a reliable result. So, subscribe to our newsletter to not miss the results!