Sahail Ashraf posted on 5 November 2021
TikTok just gets bigger and bigger. But is it ever going to be bigger than YouTube? We take a look.
If you asked anyone right now which was the biggest video platform online they would say YouTube. It has been a huge success story for years now, with culture-defining impact and a service that is of huge value to its audience.
In recent months though, it has seemed that YouTube is not the only player on the block. With the rapid growth of TikTok, it seems video could even, one day, have a new home online. But will TikTok make the kind of impact it needs to so it dislodges YouTube from the top spot?
Back in the summer a report by App Annie found that TikTok was becoming more popular than YouTube. Granted, the findings are focused on UK usage (in the US YouTube still found more users than TikTok) but it was enough to sow the seed of doubt.
TikTok is still very different from YouTube. It has a shorter video duration, for one thing. Even when it expanded to three minutes video duration that still doesn’t compare to the huge viewing times you can have on YouTube.
TikTok is also incredibly Influencer-driven. YouTube has Influencers too, but TikTok has presented itself as a more appropriate home for them. It’s shorter videos and it’s young feel makes it the perfect place for many Influencers who work in fashion, travel and so on.
Before we get into whether or not TikTok is ever going to blow YouTube out of the water, let’s dig a little deeper into the differences between the two platforms.
The first real difference between YouTube and TikTok is watch time. This is the length of time you can watch videos on the platforms and YouTube wins this particular race by a mile.
By default, TikTok limits the duration of a watch to 60 (recently a little longer) seconds. A marketer or an influencer has only a minute to get their point across. It gets challenging sometimes to incorporate the story of your brand in just 60 seconds in a way that makes sense.
However, YouTube has no watch time limit. Here, you can create much longer video promotional content for your business. Anyone can create content for YouTube. This allows businesses to showcase their talents to the public.
YouTube can allow for more creativity at the same time as making creativity more challenging. Longer video times don’t automatically make it easier to create quality. However, at the same time, squeezing highly creative videos into under a couple of minutes can be very difficult, and that is what TikTok asks you to do.
Basically, no. TikTok has a long way to go before it unseats YouTube. YouTube has a huge, established audience that isn’t going anywhere just yet. TikTok still has a lot of growing to do.
Market share is important, and as long as YouTube has the most, it will naturally dominate, at least in the important numbers.
However, one caveat. When YouTube first started to take off, it was shiny and new. People experimented with it, and careers were made for people shooting videos on their phones. The same kind of feeling is there with TikTok.
Never mind the size difference, or the length of the videos. Right now, TikTok is a growing, super cool platform that young people can’t stay away from.
Sound like any other video platform you know?
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